This may sound dramatic but my life changed when I joined Facebook. It was a slow transition at first, but gradually I was sucked into the social networking world, where pictures tell stories about events, and status updates keep you right on the pulse of all of your “friends” lives. What’s more, checking my Facebook page is now a part of my daily routine. Like most of my friends, our mornings begin with checking our work email, then our Facebook profiles.
Except, that is, for my friends who have employers who don’t allow them to access Facebook or other social networking sites while at work. For these employers, Facebook, MySpace, and Linkedin, are mere distractions that take their focus away from their jobs.
For all these anti-social networking employers, check this out. A new study put out by UK think tank Demos concludes that social networking on the job is actually beneficial for business.
The report ”Network Citizens: Power and Responsibility at Work” was authored by Peter Bradwell. Bradwell explains that this is a subject that has become an issue in workplaces in recent years, but has yet to be fully explored.
The report shows that encouraging employees to use social networking builds relationships and closer links with co-workers and customers. It went on to say that while companies all have specific, internal systems to share information, online social networking sites makes those systems stronger by boosting productivity and innovation.
Sites like LinkedIn help employees establish new contacts, strengthen ties with clients, and learn more about what is happening in other parts of their industry. Employees can stay connected to former co-workers which can pay dividends in numerous ways. And, in economically difficult times every advantage helps.
Clearly, employers need to stay on the pulse of all types of communication in today’s interactive world in order to stay as connected as possible. And just as clearly, sites such as Facebook increase networking, and better, stronger networks lead to better, stronger businesses.
It’s one thing to waste time on these sites and use them for purely social reasons. It’s another to use them to increase connections and communication, and expand your network and outreach tactics. Smart employees know the difference. So should smart employers.