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BizReport : Social Marketing : May 29, 2013

Bring your own service - workers want social tools in the workplace

Many of today's information workers feel so strongly that social tools are of benefit to their work performance that they would be willing to defy employer rules or take on the financial costs of using it in workplaces where such tools are banned.

by Helen Leggatt

Almost a third (31%) of 9,900 information workers* across 32 countries, surveyed by Ipsos for Microsoft, said they would pay for their own social tools at work if they made them more productive.

So strongly do some feel about having access to such tools that they are willing to defy their employer and install social software or apps on their work PCs or handsets.

Over a quarter (28%) of survey respondents said they knew of a co-worker who had defied employer I.T policy regarding social tools, and 17% admitted to having done so themselves.

The reasons behind such strong feeling are that social tools can increase productivity and drive collaboration, found the study. More than three-quarters of respondents said social tools make them feel more productive at work and 40% said social tools had driven workplace collaboration.

Despite 37% of respondents saying they could do their jobs better if management supported the use of social tools, 34% said their employers underestimated their workplace value.

"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.

"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."

Users of enterprise social platform SocialCast have reaped the benefits of including social tools in the workplace. Their recent infographic, "Enterprise Winning: Big Companies Getting Value from Enterprise Social", highlights the goals and achievements of its various business users including increased collaboration and employee alignment with corporate missions and values.

* Defined as employed adults working at a company with at least 100 employees who use a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone for at least 75% of their job function.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: enterprise social, I.T. policy, social tools, survey, workplace

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