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Can Social Media increase Graduate productivity?

Posted by Daniel Purchas

Well last week we ended up catching up with Richard McGowan who has had a diverse career starting out as a journalist with a small paper in rural Australia. We got to talking about work experience and he brought up an interesting point between his days as an entry level journalist and today's work environment. Richard had an interesting point about what it was like when he started working as a journalist compared to how they are these days. His first role was working as a crime reporter in Newcastle where he would write stories and then dictate them by phone to typists in the Sydney office. When back at the office there was a lot of activity with runners zipping messages to different parts of the organisation, the manual processes, and lack of technology means that there was a lot to see and experience in the work place.

Today's Graduate Working Environment

These days most offices are a lot more generic due to the wide spread use of computers in the modern office. This means that generally graduates across industries will start their careers in very similar physical environments regardless of whether they're an engineer, accountant, IT specialist or a journalist. This means because everything from a graduates work to communication both internally and externally is often done in one form or another by their computers, whether it be Outlook, Word, instant messaging, etc. Therefore a big differentiator for your organisation over your competition is what your organisation allows employees to do on the internet while at work.

Social Networking sites used by Graduates

Banning sites like Facebook, Twitter and Gmail is becoming common in today's workplace and the usual reasons are to protect sensitive data and reduce anything that impedes productivity amongst staff.

Almost 3000 graduates told us the social networking sites that they would like to see in the workplace as shown in the graph below:

Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing

There have been some interesting studies that have shown that 'Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing' or WILB as it is now known has been believed to actually increase productivity in staff who are able to use these leisure sites while they are at work. There is an interesting article you can read about this from the daily mail here. From what we've seen, the graduates visiting our website have overwhelmingly outlined that they value the use of websites they use socially outside of work. This is an area worth investigating to inform your graduates on how the internet can and should be used at your organisation and why these rules are in place as the grads come on board, as up until this point they have no doubt been able to do whatever they like online whenever they want to. Internet access may seem trivial, but to your average gen-yer graduate not having access to your Facebook, gmail and Twitter accounts can feel like losing your 6th sense.


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