Like your normal one hour break at work, usually between 12 and 1pm for many, which you use for lunch and catching up with colleagues at work, there is another practice termed social media break. This is like a 15 minutes break for workers to ‘catch up’ on social media. Cool, right? Not all employers are buying the idea though.
One in 4 workers admitted that, during a typical workday, they will spend at least an hour on personal calls, emails or texts, according to CareerBuilder survey. Twenty-one percent estimated that they spend an hour or more surfing the Web, browsing photos and so on. Millennials are even more attached, spending 1.8 hours on such sites according to U.S.Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
Other reports have shown that more limited use of social media can actually boost productivity. In some advanced countries, the majority of millennials said that an employer’s provision of state-of-the-art technology was an important factor when considering a job. A whopping 78 percent of millennials even responded that access to the technology they like makes them more effective at work, according to research from PricewaterhouseCoopers. Such startling statistics are getting the attention employers and some are beginning to respond accordingly.
Some companies have already benefited from offering designated social media breaks — perhaps two or three breaks lasting 15 minutes each — during the workday. This downtime can give your mind a much-needed rest and poise you to be more productive with the rest of your time, said Suzana Flores, author of “Facehooked: How Facebook Affects Our Emotions, Relationships, and Lives.
African countries like Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya are yet to embrace this idea of social media break. Many companies are blocking social media sites at the workplace, let alone a dedicated time period to actively engage in social media activities. The argument is that social media is distractive and counter-productive. On the contrary, some experts advise that corporations do not restrict or overmoderate social media usage at work, but you can limit it,” she said. “And also have in place policies and procedures that will protect the integrity of your company
“To expect someone to maintain focus for eight hours straight is unreasonable,” countered Suzana Flores. “People need a break and, in today’s world, that break includes social media access.”