Social tools increase workplace productivity

Social tools increase workplace productivity

Companies operating across a broad range of industries are dramatically underestimating the benefits using social tools could bring to their business, new research has suggested.

A study conducted for technology giant Microsoft revealed that nearly half of employees believe the adoption of such features would actually improve their productivity, but little is done to support this by their bosses.

Some 39 per cent of workers claimed there is not enough collaboration in their workplaces, with 40 per cent of respondents arguing that social tools help to encourage a wider use of teamwork.

However, a significant number of the study's participants claimed managers and other bosses have actually restricted the use of such features, believing them to be detrimental to their working environment.

As a result, many employees have resorted to bringing their own devices into the office in order to enjoy the benefits associated with surfing social media websites and other platforms.

Some 31 per cent said they are even willing to spend their own money to buy social tools that could help them perform better in their place of work.

Commenting on the study's findings, Charlene Li – founder and analyst at Altimeter Group – which specialises in social media and other technology trends – said: "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 organisations embracing these tools are improving collaboration, speeding customer responses and creating competitive advantages."

Adopting the use of social tools could also provide a series of benefits for those companies aiming to promote the benefits of remote working, where the need to communicate remains important despite the fact employees may not be in the same office.

Conference call tools could also be utilised for the same purpose, as they allow firms to take part in face-to-face meetings without the need to travel, while keeping the lines of communication open at all times.