Title: Online social networking and office environmental factors that affect worker productivity

Authors: Alan D. Smith

Addresses: Department of Management and Marketing, Robert Morris University, Pittsburgh, PA 15219-3099, USA

Abstract: This paper uses applied research based on the users and gratification theory to explore the positive impacts that virtual social networking has on knowledge-based office productivity. Based on an empirically-based study on lower to mid-level managers, if was found that were relatively low levels of acceptance among employees (including management) that engaging in meaningful, value-adding activities social networking sites within workplace was productive, if not properly supervised. There were considerable agreement among management about the positive influence of social networking on employee productivity, especially on layout and shared workspaces. Positive predictive relationships were found on productivity based on effective use of innovative technologies, such as social networking sites, work assignments involving communication technologies motivate employees to be more efficient and effective, and employee satisfaction with increased access to communication technologies improves productivity. Other factors that were successfully moderated by online social networking included challenging work tasks that involve greater understanding of communication technologies increase productivity, routine work tasks that can be standardised increase productivity, and office layout positively affects worker productivity, even if current office layout was not ideal.

Keywords: communication; office productivity; online social networks; operations management; worker productivity; communications technology; employee productivity; gratification theory; facilities layout; shared workspaces; motivation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPM.2013.056173

International Journal of Procurement Management, 2013 Vol.6 No.5, pp.578 - 608

Available online: 11 Aug 2013 *

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