A new research study from Microsoft Corp. found that nearly 50% of employees report that social tools at work help increase their productivity, yet more than 30% of companies underestimate the value of these tools and often restrict their use.
The study, conducted by research firm Ipsos surveyed more than 9,900 information works in 32 countries also found that:
- 39% of employees feel there isn’t enough collaboration in their workplaces
- 40% believe social tools help foster better teamwork
- Notably, 31% indicated they are willing to spend their own money to buy social tools
“Employees are already bringing their own devices into their workplaces, but now they are increasingly bringing their own services as well,” said Charlene Li, founder and analyst at Altimeter Group, a firm that studies social media and other technology trends. “Employees expect to work differently, with tools that feel more modern and connected, but are also reflective of how they interact in their personal lives. Enterprise social represents a new way to work, and organizations embracing these tools are improving collaboration, speeding customer responses and creating competitive advantages.”
The research also detailed the differences between sectors as they related to the levels of productivity, collaboration, and communication tools used in today’s workplace.
For example, financial services and government employees are most likely to say their company places restrictions on the use of social tools, likely due to the high level of regulation in those sectors.
Moreover, professionals in financial services (74%) and government (72%) are more likely than those in other fields to say these restrictions are due to security concerns, while those working in retail (59%) and travel and hospitality (57%t) are more likely to blame productivity loss.
More findings in the following infographic:
Microsoft envisions enterprise social as a fiber connecting all collaboration tools within an enterprise, not as a separate website or app that must be added into employees’ daily mix of activities. As companies start to use social tools such as Yammer, Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Lync and Microsoft Dynamics CRM for collaboration, sharing and communicating outside and inside their organizations, they stand to benefit from an increase in team collaboration, employee engagement, organizational connectedness, and the flexibility required to react nimbly and quickly to business changes and demands.
Done correctly, enterprise social can drive significant business value by improving how employees connect, share information and work across teams and geographies, as well as beyond the firewall to customers, vendors and other key relationships.