Tweet This: Social Media Use Improves Employee Productivity

So says a study that was not conducted by Twitter or Facebook.

A new study by Warwick University in the U.K. may finally put to bed worries that social media use in the workplace is a time-sucking distraction rather than a useful tool.

Warwick Business School spent more than two years following a big telecom company in Europe as it tried to implement social media and digital communications into its work habits—with Skype, Facebook, and Twitter in use alongside professional-grade software from SAP. The company's goal was to improve its customer communications. Warwick's study reports that by using social media and other online comms channels, staff were able to conclude sales more quickly and get more customer service tasks out of the way speedily.

Many other studies have underlined the benefits of social media tech, but this study is interesting due to the length of the investigation and the deliberate policy choice by the company in question. Many workplaces restrict the use of social media and other online "distractions" for their staff with security being one major concern. A different kind of risk was demonstrated recently when an employee live-tweeted the controversy around mass layoffs at British music retailer HMV.

[Image: Flickr user A.Davey]

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  • Frankturley

    really comparing apples & oranges. Sure, social media has proven to be an effective business tool. But when people talk about it being a distraction in the workplace, they mean that workers are less productive when they use social media for personal purposes while in the office.

  • BraandLife

     AGREED. The true benefit of Social Media in the workplace is to link Interaction + Actionable. A funnel resembling CMS + Social Media + CRM + (Automated Marketing System, Relevant Engagement) = Customer Satisfaction. @BraandLife:twitter  

  • Lori Bush Shepard, Clarizen

    Great point. There is enormous productivity potential for social media in the workplace.  The kicker will be to link social conversations with processes -- enabling conversations to lead to action items and projects (and vice versa). This will be game-changing for companies that get it right.