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Global survey across 32 countries shows worker appetite for social tools is increasing, even if it means spending their own money and defying organizational policy to use the technology.
Nearly half of employees report that social tools at work help increase their productivity, but more than 30 percent of companies underestimate the value of these tools and often restrict their use, according to new Microsoft research released today.
The survey, conducted for Microsoft Corp. by research firm Ipsos among 9,908 information workers in 32 countries, also found that 39 percent of employees feel there isn’t enough collaboration in their workplaces, and 40 percent believe social tools help foster better teamwork. More surprisingly, 31 percent said 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 found distinct differences between countries, sectors and genders as they relate to the levels of productivity, collaboration and communication tools used in today’s workplace.