More than nine out of 10 U.S. employees answering a recent survey believe using social media at work helps recharge their batteries and makes them feel more productive.
Passport Photo Online surveyed 1,029 workers in the United States in July to see how social media affects them. Only 14 percent of respondents said they don’t use social media at all.
For the 86 percent of respondents who do, 94 percent said using it during work hours makes them feel more productive (as mentioned above), yet seven out of 10 in the same group said social media has reduced their attention span. While these results may seem contradictory, the study suggests that using social media at work indeed can be helpful. No one can retain focus on work for eight straight hours — the attention span result bears that out — so scrolling fun memes for a few minutes might help workers reset.
Looking at memes isn’t the only thing workers are doing on social media. In the survey, 83 percent of respondents said social media is useful for networking and finding new job opportunities. And more than half (54 percent) of respondents admitted that thanks to surfing LinkedIn during work hours they found another company that eventually hired them.
Almost four out of 10 (37 percent) of survey respondents said they have been spending more time on social media since working from home, while 22 percent answered less and 38 percent have been on social media about the same amount of time.
Respondents to the survey were below the national average on the amount of time they spend on social media sites daily. According to Statista figures, the average amount of time spent on social media each day in the U.S. is two hours and three minutes (123 minutes). In the new survey, nearly all the respondents report spending less than 120 minutes on social media daily.
More than eight out of 10 (83 percent) respondents said they think social media is addictive, yet 31 percent said they would demand at least $5,001 to more than $10,001 to quit social media for a year. Only 14 percent would accept less than $500 to quit. (See graphic below for complete figures.)
Curt Wagner is digital editor at Convene.