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What should we think about social media in business?

Studies about social media in business are increasing and contradictory. Both employees and employers have arguments to support their own view. But one fact cannot be disputed – in a few years, the working world will be mostly occupied by young people born post-Facebook. So why not start getting ready now?


For the well-being of employees

In addition to being a connected employee (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube…), you are also an employee with strong and weak moments in your day. A few years ago these were met by a break around the coffee machine or a game of minesweeper, but today social media has taken over. So watching an unusual video with Réjean or Lyne should not panic your employer and could even rebuild a social bond with your colleagues. In addition, studies by American universities have shown that the younger generation needs more breaks than others, allowing them to then work more intensely. Better concentration, increased productivity – everyone is on board! 


A must for collaborative enterprises

Businesses that have opted for a culture of collaboration no longer view you as a performer or receiver but rather as a transmitter of ideas, values, convictions. What good news! Discuss, transmit, share information, create links to develop synergies, so many tasks that are part of your daily life. A world without social media would be a disaster for you; rest assured, you are not alone in thinking this way. In 2012, McKinsey published a study stating that “social media allow for a 20% improvement in the speed of access to knowledge, a 20% reduction in the cost of communication and a 20 to 25% increase in worker productivity.” A bit of a problem for you, a Generation Y or Z employee attracted by young and innovative enterprises, be aware that although you have the opportunity to be 100% connected to your personal social media at the office, you have to accept being reachable almost 24/7 – it’s part of the game!


Variable geometry based on the culture of the enterprise

Certain businesses (depending on the industry, location, age of the employer, etc.) are very hesitant to be open to social media. It’s difficult to convince them, especially since some statistics support them – an employee spends on average 1-1/2 hours on social media media, of which 1 hour is personal. Are you concerned yet…? Or are you among the 66% of employees who communicate electronically with other people while you are in a meeting? Caught between them, companies end up giving access to social media so that the work of certain employees is made easier, and also so that the younger generation remains interested in them. Be careful though, you could fall into a business that is at odds with innovative companies. You will find safeguards, such as an IT Charter, rules, a monitoring system … with, if you’re lucky, somewhat lighter measures such as Facebook-Free Friday or No Email Friday. Luckier? You be the judge…


For those for which
social media is not part of their DNA, this Chinese proverb could inspire you: when the wind of change rises, some build walls; others windmills.

 

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