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No, Really, Facebook Makes Employees More Productive

A sign with the 'like' symbol stands in front of the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California.
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A sign with the 'like' symbol stands in front of the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California.

Organizations that prohibit Facebook in the workplace may want to reconsider that policy. A 10-minute Facebook break makes employees happier, healthier and more productive, according to new research.

An infographic on the corporate wellness site Keas.com makes the case for Facebook by pointing out the benefits of visiting the popular social network. Chief among them comes from a recent Academy of Management study that found that employees who were allowed to use Facebook were more productive than co-workers who were not.

For the academy study, workers were divided into three groups: one that was allowed no breaks, one that was allowed to do anything but use the Internet, and one that was allowed 10 minutes to use the Internet and Facebook. The Facebook group was found to be 16 percent more productive than the group that was not allowed to use the Internet and nearly 40 percent more productive than the group that was allowed no breaks.

"Short and unobtrusive breaks, such as a quick surf on the Internet, enables the mind to rest itself, leading to a higher net total concentration for a day's work, and as a result, increased productivity," said Brent Coker of the department of management and marketing at the University of Melbourne, in Australia, according in the infographic.

The infographic noted a separate survey in which half of all CEOs said they prohibit the use of Facebook and other social networks at work.

Besides productivity, Facebook was indirectly linked to employee health and happiness. According to the infographic, people are positively affected by the happiness of others, even if that happiness is viewed digitally. Additionally, research by the MIT Sloan School of Management found that people are more likely to continuously participate in online health forums if they see others doing so. According to the research, the online community that Facebook provides facilitates such employee behavior.

Good luck convincing your boss, though.

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