Worried about keeping your job? Spend more time G-chatting with your coworkers.
Though it might seem counterintuitive, using social media during work hours can actually help you keep your job — as long as you’re still producing good work, of course.
According to new research from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, “Employees who message colleagues about idle subjects like sports or meals were significantly more likely to keep their jobs during firm layoffs,” Levo League reports.
Lynn Wu, the study‘s author, peeked into the internal communications — email, calendar events, and instant messages — between consultants at a large IT firm, analysing more than 8,000 messages sent over a two year span. From this, Wu found a positive correlation between social communication and job retention.
Simply put, coworkers who frequently chatted about non-work topics were more likely to keep their jobs during a round of layoffs.
Similarly, Wu also discovered a positive correlation between the generation of billable revenue and diversity of information. In other words, employees who discussed a wider variety of topics were more productive.
Though Wu wasn’t able to identify why these correlations exist, one thing was clear: social media has the power to improve both productivity and job security. So go ahead and chat about that new Thai restaurant or last night’s episode of Scandal — as long as you’re getting some work done, too.
Want your business advice featured in Instant MBA? Submit your tips to [email protected] Be sure to include your name, your job title, and a photo of yourself in your email.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.