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Balancing Act: Social Media in the Workplace

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When I was in high school and my brother in college, I remember one particular moment he shared a life lesson with me. Using the dashboard of his car to demonstrate his point as he drove me into school one day. He said, “Over here on one end you have fun, and way on the other end, you have work. Right now you are focusing a little too much on the fun when really you need to be somewhere in the middle.” That simple lesson taught me a lot and carried through with me the rest of my high school years and beyond.

Fast forward to today’s office environment, this simple lesson has come to mind more than once when it comes to social media. And specifically our office work environment. We have an open policy for social media when it comes to our workplace, especially since it’s our job to help guide clients through the maze. But, using myself as an example, it left me to wondering … what happened to the days of focus? Of course I am dating myself here but I find myself thinking a lot about the olden days when I first started out in PR and how there was little distraction except for the landline phone and colleagues dropping in for a little water cooler discussion.

Every day I am inundated with emails, phone calls, texts, Facebook, Twitter … the list goes on and on. Then I read this recent story in The Washington Post about information overload and it really got me thinking. Especially when I read this “… the numbers Spira trots out are still pretty jaw-dropping. He estimates that reading and processing 100 e-mail messages can occupy more than half of a worker’s day. For every 100 people who are unnecessarily copied on an e-mail, eight hours of productivity are lost.” And of course I thought about my brother’s life lesson of trying to achieve balance.

So for the past few weeks we’ve been focusing (yes focusing) on only using social media for the purposes of our clients and trying to minimize our personal use (including texting). While this journey is fraught with mishaps, trials and tribulations, we are renewing our focus on the tasks at hand.

So, if you noticed a decreased level of chatter from @RSPR, this is why. Going back to the dashboard of my brother’s car, we are heading back to the center.

Photo credit: Google images

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