The next time your boss catches you using Facebook at work, you’ve got an excuse: it may make you better at your job!
According to a study by the tech startup Evolv, usage of popular social networks including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. is actually an indicator of better work performance. Cyber-social employees are shown to have higher sales and faster problem-solving time than their old-fashioned counterparts.
As the modern workplace evolves, social networks are becoming a big part of workers’ lives. Far from being a time waster, these online connections may actually signal Internet literacy and productivity. But is that the whole story? The Scambook Blog has the scoop for all you compulsive tweeters and rebloggers out there.
What the Evolv Study Uncovered About Social Media Use
Evolv’s data included metrics from a variety of Fortune 500 companies, surveying hourly employees about which social circles they’re often traveling in. Those who reported regular usage of up to 4 social networks were shown to have an advantage over peers who didn’t use any social network.
The study found that faster completion of customer service calls, elevated sales, and longer company tenure were all hallmarks of workers who were “plugged in” — their performance is rated as about 1.5% better.
They also tended to stick with their employer for 94 days on average, versus the non-web-savvy workers who only reported 83 days of tenure on average.
Not only that, but employees who use 5 or more networks (a.k.a. social media junkies) were shown to be even more productive, beating their less-social media-savvy coworkers by 2.8%.
However, this group may leave their company a little earlier — average tenure is 92 days — possibly because their web sharing skills are more and more coveted by other employers.
Social Media at Work: Does Sharing More Really Mean Caring More?
At first glance, the Evolv study seems to be promoting more online connectivity and social media use amongst employees. But before you start celebrating with a few new Pinterest boards, let’s take a deeper look at what these results may indicate.
Those who use lots of social media daily are tech-savvy and web-literate. Understanding computer usage at a basic level probably contributes to overall productivity levels. Also, getting an intuitive grasp on social media requires your mind to recognize the patterns of online sharing.
But do these skills improve your mental sharpness, or do you have the skills because you’re already inclined to be quick-witted and tech savvy?
In addition, craving the thrill of a Facebook “like” may have something to do with being an extrovert or just a sociable person.
In any case, having those personality characteristics does often lead to better work performance, especially in sales and customer service.
Be a Successful Employee and Know Your Networks
The study is a chicken-or-egg situation: Are you a good worker because of social media, or do you use social media because you have the personality of a good worker? Regardless of the implications of this data, it’s clear that success in the workplace requires a reasonable grasp of today’s internet landscape.
Networking is taking place on the Internet more and more, and staying connected with colleagues and creating a virtual personality is key to standing out as a great employee.
Don’t let your social media usage interfere with your job duties — and don’t over-share private personal info that your boss might see — but you should have a presence in at least a few social media networks, notably Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Don’t fall behind the times!
Do you think that social media use actually improves work performance? Ever been caught tweeting at work? Tell us in the comments!
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