By now, we’re all aware that Facebook is an evil tool that has brought no profit or improvement to the lives of anyone but its ruthless founder, Mark Zuckerberg. So naturally, we need to ban it. In schools, in offices, in shopping malls. With the advent of Facebook, and the wrath of smartphones, humanity will soon become nothing but a horde of mindless dupes, with no self-control and no ability to communicate (except through text talk and emojis). Ban Facebook! It’s the only way to improve your productivity and save the world!
To say that the above statement relies only on fantasies that have no basis in reality would be false. What it highlights, rather, is that black-and-white thinking when it comes to Facebook is outdated, single-minded, and potentially even harmful.
Want one reason why it’s wrong to ban or block Facebook? You’re fighting a beast with multiple heads, of which Facebook is only one. And guess what else? It’s a beast with regenerative powers. So even the Facebook head grows back. Yikes!
Banning Facebook might temporarily boost your productivity….Before your employees simply find other ways to distract themselves. Or start using Facebook on mobile data during their more-frequent-than-usual, longer-than-usual bathroom trips. You might even be responsible for the next non-digital distraction craze. Maybe marbles will make a comeback. Or Rubik’s Cubes.
More than likely, you will realise something: your productivity is not actually increasing significantly enough to warrant the decline in employee sentiment. Your employees need to know that you trust them more than you would a fourteen-year-old. Unlike some fourteen year olds, they have the potential to use social media and smartphones responsibly. You just need to acknowledge the necessity of these tools to their lives and sociability before you go making any drastic changes.
The one thing that will put this beast to sleep is the idea of a policy. If you let your employees know what is expected of them and their productivity, you will have a better understanding across all platforms. This should encompass how employees use social media and smartphones at work, as well as how they interact with your brand name on social media outside of the workplace.
Many employers (with good reason) do not want their employees to be posting on social media about their jobs. Obviously you should never attempt to control your employees’ rights to speak out about unfair treatment in the workplace, and if they choose social media as an outlet to discuss it, quashing these claims will not help you in regard to company image.
Clarity will be your ultimate guide here. If you switch on a few lights, you might realise the beast of employee of distraction is more a Labrador of distraction. Sure, your employees are not perfect and will always be distracted by one thing or another. But know this: if your employees don’t know the rules, and are kept in the dark, the beast will be a monster.
If you shine light and make some guidelines, the Labrador will let you put a leash on it before falling asleep at the foot of your chair.
When this beast is asleep, you’re going to notice something. Your efficiency isn’t at 100%. That’s because there’s more to efficiency than eliminating distraction. To optimise your business, you will need to consider your processes, and that means thinking about how everything works together as a whole. For more information about this integration process, download Dando INSIGHTS: we’ve got a few ideas about how you can reach your efficiency goals.
Header Image Credit: Daniel Sempértegui