Are Social Networks a Good or Bad Idea While on the Job?
Absolutely! The way that people communicate is changing drastically. This is largely due to the development of newer technology. People no longer have to be sitting next to each other to communicate. Sending a message or posting a status update or photo on facebook is pretty much the same thing as chatting with your co-workers. Most businesses have no problem with people talking while working. Some even encourage it. For many people, it's second nature to type a quick status to facebook or twitter via their phone or computer.
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Multitasking is a desirable trait. Networking via social sites while on the job shows the higher-ups that you can do more than one thing at a time. This is beneficial because most positions require a great deal of multitasking and switching back and forth from varied assignments. For instance, a manager might interact with customers, direct employees, answer emails and phone calls, solve issues, and much more
Adding a personal touch helps clients and customers identify with the company. So, maybe that photo your co-worker just posted of her baby wasn't exactly work-related. But it does bring out her personal side. Being a good business person is not about a perfect image void of any feeling. Clients and customers want to deal with businesses, particularly employees, that they can relate to. If everything is always straight business and no fun, no one sees the human side and that can hurt business. You don't necessarily need to discuss drunken escapades. But posting a silly status or two during company time can help people feel comfortable with employees, which is good for business.
Happy employees are more productive. When people don't feel pressured, they are more likely to do their jobs efficiently. People who sit at a desk all day may not have much time for social interaction that is not work-related. Social networks can provide a few minutes here and there where the employees can get some quick social time in and still do their job efficiently. It only takes a few moments to read or post an update. But the happiness or stress relief from doing so may last all day.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network