The negative effect of social media on productivity in the workplace

communication for productivity

First, you must change your perception of what good communication is and a good way to start is to put your mobile away. It is a tool but not for effective communication in the workplace. Returning to basics are essential for getting the message across to your team.

How does social media affect logical communication?

Communication is only as good as the perception of the listener. Miscommunication comes from one of two parties preempting the core message being relayed. In other words, the mind is closed to input from others sources than the listeners own mindset. People communicating mainly through social media has re-engineered the brain's ability to process input from opposing sources. Even though social media are perceived as a communication channel it is not effective in the world of business.

Communication via social media is mainly one way where the user input reflects his or her own view not expecting opposing views. Opposing views are discarded instantly and positive criticism waved. It is a matter of simply moving on to other parties who agree to the user's views. Modern day business often falls prey to social media who fail to recognize the real value of electronic communication.

Social media or as a matter of fact any electronic communication must be utilized as informative medium and not as two-way communication. Nothing beat the good old phone call or face to face visit. It was proven by students at communication conference in South Africa who did a study on social media that communication via networks was not anywhere as effective as direct communication.

Three common negative effects of social media communication

People take longer to respond or don't respond at all if work is distributed by mail or social media. The reason is that most who were asked are of the viewpoint that it is there to look at when they are idle or at specific times of the day.

It was also found that very few of these communications had effective long lasting outcomes. Solutions were found within 20minutes through face to face communications. One group communicating with social media failed to complete 87% of tasks allocated within a specific time period. 

Tasks completed also failed to deliver good quality outcomes. Face to face groups completed 98% of tasks within same time period but most significant was the fact that outcomes were of very high quality due to detailed input.

Long-term benefits of leaving social media out of the workplace

More intimate communication networks are established through direct verbal communication. The real leader of the organization is responsible for the building of productive and highly competitive teams. Changing the way you communicate will bring long-term benefits such as:
  • Team members will become more responsive as they feel integrated into a solid team structure and not just a social media participant.
  • Productivity will increase due to reduced response times.
  • Narrow the perception of a gap between top and bottom of organizational structures.
  • Communication is clear and concise where applied verbally.
  • Staff will learn to communicate in the correct manner and according to organizational standards.
In other words to understand and to maintain relationships in the workplace, it is crucial that true leaders step up and get back to basics of communication. 

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