I've found it very helpful to use an extra screen, so that I can have much of my social media input visible from "the corner of my eye" as it were - I don't have to close out of whatever I'm doing to go and check it. Almost like having subtitles running across my existential screen!
The tools themselves have very little impact on the productivity, it's the capability of the employees to make use of these tools that has the impact.
In our case, tools like the wiki works as a great central location for information and has allowed the people who are go-getters to go get things done without having to interrupt anyone. I've found them incredibly useful -- but I'm not the majority. They've never gotten in the way -- those who don't care to use them properly don't use them at all.
I believe the rate of productivity involving the use of social media to include emails are relative to the role and responsibilities of the position. In your case, shouldn't you ALWAYS be connected?
Bottom Line: signal to noise ratio optimized that delivers the most suitable aggregate of content at the right time. I'm sure my soon to be girl friend Siri has plans to make that happen for me and I'll ask her if she would pencil that in for you as well Nicole.
my suggestion to you guys (Nathan and Susan) is try living for 6 weeks DISCONNECTED in the CONNECTED world, then come back and revisit what you guys just said. To make it even more interesting, spend time with people behind the digital divide during this time frame.
You mentioned something important: "...having time away from the computer refreshes us and gives us new perspective when we get back to the IT grind."
I have found that I need some time away from the computer to refresh my mind and thoughts, to make some connections and elaboration after having been exposed to too much information in a relatively short time throughout the day. If we don't stop for a moment to think there is no point in absorbing and absorbing just like silly sponges.
I wonder if we even notice anymore if we're more or less productive, though.
I am certain that the various work-related interruptions I get throughout the day on IM and email get in the way of my productivity. But they're just part of the day now -- that's how it is. Perhaps part of that is a time-management issue. I know some people advocate only checking email at a certain time of day, or twice a day. Do others here have rules about when you check email/social networks?
That's great to hear. Internet work / Internet play needs to be separate, just like we all need time away from our computers to enjoy a balanced lifestyle. And besides, having time away from the computer refreshes us and gives us new perspective when we get back to the IT grind.
I am trying to do the same, Nathan, keeping personal time and work time separate whenever possible. In fact, I am making an effort to also spend good part of my personal time offline in order to keep some sort of balance and healthy eyes.
The only social network in which I have a mix of personal and work stuff/contacts and I don't mind to have them mixed is Facebook, where I carefully select who enters that world. All the other social networks are just for quick work related interactions/news, etc.
I voted 'More productive'. I've learned to keep personal time and work time separate whenever possible - especially during busy days. But any use of social networks for my work is usually to post some quick news and do small interactions with the community; which is all part of advertising the brand.
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