Okay, so tell us: How many times have you sneakily logged in to your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts while at work? Okay, so I see a lot of hands in the air. Okay, well, everyone’s hand is now up. I see. I see.

Obviously, we’ve encountered this a lot of times already: you’re going nuts with all the preparations needed for your presentation with the bosses, or you’re just plain bored with what your manager asked you to do, so you take a breather and enjoy yourself for a few minutes updating (or ranting through) your different profiles that, well, eventually took an hour (or more) to do. I cannot blame you, with our constant need to be updated, we really cannot help ourselves from taking a peek at our social networking sites now and again. Since their advent, these sites have become a major part of our lives, so much so that they have even become a necessity more than just leisure.

But how do these little escapes really affect our productivity at work? Is social media really a negative or actually a positive thing? Here are the pros and cons of the matter:

The Pros

It works as an escape.

As mentioned earlier, social media can be an escape from your tiresome job, allowing you to take your mind off of the hardships and let your brain cool down for a while. That said, a few minutes on social media won’t hurt while at work. Just keep in mind that you’re there to work in the end.

You can stay in contact with everyone.

Social media can help you contact your colleagues, business partners and anyone else you need constant communication with in an instant. So, as long as you’re not routing for the off-limits (meaning, chatting about non-work related stuff for too long), there is nothing wrong with using social media to widen your connections.

The Cons

It can be a total distraction.

Social media may decrease your productivity instead of letting you finish your what-have-yous on time. Logging onto your social media networks can actually eat up a ton of precious minutes that could have been used doing things that were long supposed to be done.

It might turn into a habit.

Your constant, “I deserve a break!” mindset might lead to a routine that is hard to break off. So, before you make tweeting at work a habit, remember that you are getting paid to work, not to take advantage of your company’s free wi-fi access.

If you ask me, social media comes with a lot of pros and cons in the long run. We just need to remind ourselves to keep things in moderation. You may have complete access to your Facebook, Twitter and IG accounts for entire 8 (or more) hours that you have to spend in front of your desktop for work; but you still need to stay in control of how you use your social media whilst there. After all, whatever you do at work may affect your work life in one way or another. Always think twice.

 

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