Social Media Usage and Employee Productivity

The article, “The relationship between social media usage in the workplace and employee productivity in the public sector: A case study of government departments in Harare,” by Tawaziva Wushe and Jacob Shenje, is focused on social media being the primary method of communication in the modern world. To be more exact, the article evaluates the influence of networking on organizations and employees in particular. Overall, the authors sought to determine the impact of social media usage at the workplace on the worker’s productivity.

The abstract clearly states that numerous concerns about the negative impacts of social media on labor productivity are the primary reason for conducting the research. Therefore, the authors collected the necessary data via surveys of 278 employees from different companies in Harare (Wushe & Shenje, 2019). However, the introduction mentions that the controversy around social media’s influence on employees affects the scholars and the outcomes of their research, eventually. To be more exact, some claim that networking increases the worker’s productivity by 15%, while some present a 1.5% decrease in job performance (Wushe & Shenje, 2019). Consequently, Wushe and Shenje (2019) focused on examining the relationship between employee efficiency and usage of various communication apps, such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Skype, and LinkedIn. The researchers tested the hypotheses regarding the negative impact of each social media application on the staff’s job performance (Wushe & Shenje, 2019). Overall, the introduction of devices and various networking websites has raised concerns regarding its association with considerably decreasing labor productivity at workplaces in Harare.

The authors then include the literature review to realize the general concept of social media and networking to be able to examine its influence in the further study stages. It has been concluded that social media is an efficient way of communication between a worker and a client and, therefore, leading organizations opt for using it to increase the productivity of task performance. In addition, various applications are helpful for employees to seek modern trends that assist them in their interaction with customers. However, some companies still do not realize networking significance and consider it a time wastage.

Consequently, the article reviews distraction-conflict theory to understand its possible implementation in the research stage of the study. Therefore, “competing activities or environmental stimuli” at the workplace are considered to trigger behavioral, psychological, and social types of distraction and confusion (Wushe & Shenje, 2019, p. 2). In other words, when employees constantly receive social media application notifications, they are more likely to neglect to fulfill their primary responsibilities. Overall, the theory is further employed by Wushe and Shenje (2019) to examine social media as a distractor from a worker’s main tasks at the workplace. Furthermore, a decrease in mental attention is a crucial disadvantage of networking usage during working hours.

The study also includes the discussion of companies developing applications specifically to cater to the needs of employees in communication at the workplace and photo-sharing. As a result, the staff’s addiction to mainstream social media, such as Facebook or Twitter, does not increase, and organizations do not suffer from losing money on wages due to decreased employee productivity (Wushe & Shenje, 2019). Furthermore, Wushe and Shenje (2019) then review the outcomes of various practitioners’ and academics’ studies, focusing on the fact that most of them consider social media usage a negative influence on employees. Therefore, the article includes its statement regarding the need for thoroughly exploring the matter, “the study will seek to provide a conclusive answer on the effect of social media usage in the workplace on employee productivity” (Wushe & Shenje, 2019, p. 4). To be more particular, the research surveyed the association of workers’ efficiency with using the following applications: Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Skype, and LinkedIn (Wushe & Shenje, 2019). As for the study designs, Wushe and Shenje (2019) employed a descriptive method to use consistent variables further and considerably decrease the possibility of drawing biased conclusions. Overall, to retrieve the relevant data, the authors conducted surveys and questionnaires strongly connected to the primary issue of the study.

The article then discusses the outcomes of the research based on the examination of surveys. To be more particular, the authors examined 210 questionnaire responses from the employees in different companies from the central district of Harare (Wushe & Shenje, 2019). The article is based on a correlation matrix and, in accordance with it, concluded the negative influence of Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, and Skype on employee productivity (Wushe & Shenje, 2019). However, the only social media application that was recognized as having a positive impact on a worker’s task performance is LinkedIn (Wushe & Shenje, 2019). Overall, the employees’ usage of Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, and Skype is usually associated with non-work-related activities, resulting in a considerable decrease in job performance.

To sum up, the study concludes the significant counterproductive aspect of social media usage during working hours. Furthermore, networking applications have a strongly negative impact on employee productivity. Therefore, numerous social media were researched to determine their influence on workers’ job performance. Consequently, the article drew conclusions regarding the positive impact of LinkedIn on staff attention and the negative one of other analyzed networking programs.


Wushe, T., & Shenje, J. (2019). The relationship between social media usage in the workplace and employee productivity in the public sector: A case study of government departments in Harare. Journal of Human Resource Management, 1–10.

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