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Does Social Media Make You A More Productive Employee?

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Does Social Media Make You A More Productive Employee?

Social media isn’t just good for company branding.

Recent studies have found that employees who frequently used social media are more productive than those who don’t; the former are more service- and customer-oriented and can get more done in less time than their non-Twitter junkie counterparts.

Why, exactly, does social media usage make a better employee?

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1. It makes you more creative

What’s more inspiring than the collective streams of consciousness of hundreds of thousands of people from anywhere in the world? Being an active social media user exposes you to tons of new or unique insight, ideas, and solutions. Image-oriented social networks like Pinterest or Tumblr give added visual inspiration and knowledge for the visual learners out there. All of that content can put you miles ahead of your colleagues who don’t participate in social networking sites.

2. You become a better (and more willing) collaborator

Collaboration is an inherent part of being active on social networks. And collaboration doesn’t just mean a conscious partnership on a particular project. Whether it’s getting involved in a Facebook group, helping spread a hashtag on Twitter, or participating in a forum on LinkedIn, active social media users are likely to have participated in some kind of collaboration effort, whether they realized it at the time or not.

3. Social knowledge = quality assurance

Research and Googling can only get you so far; it’s the real-time, socially-generated knowledge of social networks that provides in-depth consumer/customer insight. This is especially true if you work in a customer service capacity.

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Social media, and knowing how to use it well, is an exceptional asset in and of itself in today’s economy. An awesome social media strategy can make your brand more popular than ever before — or create a total disaster.

Obviously, a social media manager needs to be savvy in managing social media, but those skills apply to general customer support and relations as well. Employees who are better socially versed will have better social interactions, meaning easier and better time spent talking to and helping customers, as well as more effective communication within the workplace.

4. You know how to get knowledge more efficiently

Social networks can be great tools to find info or answers to questions. This sounds like a strange claim if you think of “social networks” exclusively in the Facebook/Twitter department; how many times have you tweeted a question to the void without anyone ever offering a solution? However, we (especially Millennials) forget that forums are social networks. They’re also popular search results when running specific questions through search engines, so if you’ve ever Googled something for work and found helpful info on a forum, you’ve technically used social networks to help you on the job.

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Online forums are a wealth of information on both the frequency of various problems and user-generated solutions. Active social media users know the power of the masses can collaborate to help solve each other’s problems. Your less social media-savvy counterparts aren’t getting as much done by flipping through old manuals or hunting down other employees or your boss for help.

5. You network more efficiently

You may be thinking: “Duh, LinkedIn.” Yes, that’s the obvious online networking tool. But other seemingly less professional social media sites are often just as useful for networking. Twitter is an obvious one, but Facebook can also be used for networking if you use a professional page. Not only can you reach a broader group of connections, you can do it without spending the extra time hunting people down at events or luncheons just to say hi. Your Twitter followers could be more invaluable than your coworker’s Rolodex.

 

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And remember: social media can only benefit you if you know how it helps. Too much idle Tumblr browsing on the job isn’t necessarily an asset. Everything in moderation.

Featured photo credit: Instagram and Social Media Apps/Jason Howie via secure.flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 13, 2022

How to Use Travel Time Effectively

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How to Use Travel Time Effectively

Most of us associate travel and time with what we’re going to do one we get to our destination. Planning and mapping out what to do once you arrive can certainly make for a more pleasurable vacation, but there are things you can do while you are on your way that can make it even better.

Sure, you can plan for the things you’re going to do on your vacation while you are travelling en route – but what about making use of that time for other things that you don’t usually do when you’re at home? You don’t need to have your gadgets with you to do it, and you can really connect with yourself if you take the time to manage your life while heading towards your vacation destination.

Here are some great tips to help you with your time management while you travel, some of which are more conventional than others. Nonetheless, you can find out what works best for you and apply them accordingly depending on when and how you are travelling.

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1. Take Your Time Getting There

As I write this, I’m on a flight to San Francisco. Flying is the fastest way to get from place to place, and for many people it’s really the only way to travel.

But I’ve often taken the train or ferry on trips so that I have extra time without distraction to get more done. I’m not worrying about navigation or lack of space to do what I want to do. Instead I’m able to focus on getting stuff done during the time I’ve got without feeling rushed. For example, when I took the train from Vancouver to Portland, it was an eight hour trip and I managed to get a ton of writing done and closed a lot of open loops. It also was less expensive than flying, which was a bonus.

Sometimes taking the long way to get somewhere on vacation can be the best thing for you to get somewhere with your life.

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2. Go Gadget-Free

This is going to be a tough one for a lot of you. But why do you need to bring your gadgets with you when you go on vacation? It isn’t be a bad idea to leave all but one of them behind, and only pull out that one when you absolutely need to do so. In some countries, you’d be wise to be discreet with them anyway since flaunting them in front of those that are less fortunate than you isn’t a good practice. While it may not seem like flaunting to you, in different cultures it can definitely come across that way.

If you can’t go gadget-free, then at least go Internet-free. If you use a task management app that requires syncing across your multiple devices to be effective, remember that if you only have the one device with you then it can be the “master device” for the time being and will store your data locally anyway. Just sync up when you get home.

3. Reflect and Prepare

Finally, going on any sort of excursion gives you the perfect opportunity to reflect on where you’ve been. The fact you have removed yourself from where you usually are can give you a perspective that you simply can’t get when you’re at home. You may want to journal your thoughts during this time – and by taking more time to get to your destination you’ll have more time to dig deeper into it.

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After a period of reflection – however long that happens to be – you can then begin to not only prepare for the rest of your travels, you can prepare for the rest of what happens afterward. The reflection period is important, though. You need to really know where you’ve been in order to properly look at where you want to be. Time away from things gives you that chance.

Conclusion

Traveling isn’t always about where you’re going and how quickly you can get there. In fact, it’s rarely about that at all.

More often it’s where you’re at in your head that will dictate how much you benefit from traveling. So don’t just go somewhere fast. Instead, take your time on the way there and take the time to connect with not only where you are but who are while you’re there.

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If you do that, you’ll have a better chance to be who you want to be when you leave.

Featured photo credit: bruce mars via unsplash.com

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