Keeping employees off social media during work sounds like the perfect solution for boosting productivity, but is it really possible? Even with a policy banning or restricting social media access, 77% of employees still use social media at work.

Surprisingly, employees who balance their work and personal Internet activity effectively are 9% more productive at work. While 54% of companies ban social media completely, there are ways of limiting usage without a complete ban.

1. Offer Social Breaks

Social media can be addictive. Your employees want to constantly check for the latest updates and news frequently. When you ask them to do without for 8-10 hours every day, they’ll do everything possible to sneak around and check Facebook or Twitter on their phones.

Instead, offer social media breaks. Offer a five-minute social break each hour to allow them to quickly check their favorite networks, post their own updates and quench their social media cravings. Instead of being on constantly, they’re more likely to wait until their five-minute break.

2. Use Social Media For Business Only

There’s a case for allowing social media use in your business. While not the case with every employee, some use social media for research, such as checking industry news on Twitter for the latest trends or looking for case studies on LinkedIn when working on a project.

Implement a policy that social media is only for business reasons (outside of personal breaks). If possible, have employees create separate business accounts on allowed sites for networking, research and working with their co-workers on projects.

3. Create Your Own Social Network

Keeping employees off social media might harm your business’s productivity if employees are using it to connect with each other. For instance, employees might reach out on social media to co-workers in different time zones.

Help your employees be more productive by creating your own social network. SharePoint is one option for creating a social collaboration option in your business.

4. Block Sites During Set Hours

When employees spend more time playing on social media than working, blocking all social media sites might be the only solution. Block sites during specific hours, but allow access during lunches and breaks. It’s less extreme and still gives employees a break for socializing.

5. Provide Alternative Sources Of Information

If your employees are turning to social media for research, provide alternate options. Give them lists of sites/blogs with the best industry related news. Encourage them to use an RSS reader versus social media to keep up with all these sources of information.

Contact DevSoft

Are you struggling with social media use at your business? Contact us today at 888-405-0029 or send us a message to learn about solutions for limiting access.

Image: Tim Bennett

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