Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google +, Tumblr — no matter which outlet you prefer, chances are that your social media habits are affecting your bank account.
Studies show that Chinese workers actually increase productivity by an outstanding 84% when allowed access to social media tools. Buy unless you live in China, that same study shows social media interferes with productivity.
Social Media in the Workplace
When visiting the Cleveland Clinic recently, I was surprised to find that I couldn’t access Facebook while connected to the hospital’s Wi-Fi. The popular social media website was blocked universally to limit employee access and maintain focus on patients and the job at hand.
Many large corporations are limiting access to social media to damper the urge to share statuses about work while at work. Some employers are even including a non-disclosure in employment contracts that prohibits posting about the workplace on social outlets to protect the company’s integrity and client’s privacy. Violating such prohibitions can cost you your job.
How to Change Your Social Media Habits
But even if you work for yourself, social media still needs a few self-imposed restrictions. Productivity experts like David Allen recommend setting intervals for checking email and social media messages to increase productivity.
Use a timer to signal free time to check messages online, and then limit the minutes you spend reading email and your social media feed. If you need a little help, check out this Mashable list of apps that limit online distractions so you can get work done.
One way to impose self-limiting social media restrictions is to challenge yourself to reduce your social media time every week. If you can get down to checking email every 2-3 hours and social media once a day or less, you’ll likely see an increase in your productivity. Be sure to reward yourself for each goal you reach.
Changing social media habits can be difficult, especially if you’ve gone unchecked for several months or years. The free time you spend browsing social media could be better spent on activities that build your business. However, business owners today know that a solid social media presence can boost your customer base.
If you find you’re unable to balance your social media time and productivity, hire a social media manager to monitor and post every day for you. You can still check in and interact with your customers when needed, but the burden of logging in for business is eliminated by outsourcing this task. You can have a trusted employee take on the task, or you can hire a virtual specialist.
If you take the initiative to keep social media from killing your productivity personally and professionally, the results will be rewarding. Time is money. Spending your time wisely every day will increase your financial security and set an example for those around you to do the same.
How much time do you spend on social media every day? Does your employer have social media restrictions? Share your experiences with social media in the workplace.