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Study: Work-Based Social Networking Increases Efficiency

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November 12, 2008

Study: Work-Based Social Networking Increases Efficiency

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor

AT&T reportedly has announced that the use of social networking tools as part of everyday working life has led to an increase in efficiency, according to an independent market report it released.

This is news to every employer who’s ever wondered how much time his employees are wasting on Facebook (News - Alert) during office hours. Answer: Lots.
The pan-European survey of more than 2,500 people in five countries, conducted by Dynamic Markets, shows that of those employees using social networking tools in the workplace, 65 percent say that it has made them and/or their colleagues more efficient. Forty-five percent say that it has sparked ideas and creativity for them personally.
The top five social networking tools being used by organizations across Europe are companies’ own collaboration sites on intranets, at 39 percent, internal forums within the company at 20 percent, company-produced video material shared on intranets at 16 percent, online social networks, like LinkedIn and Facebook at 15 percent and external collaboration sites on the Web and internal blogging sites, both at 11 percent.
The study shows that 65 percent of employees surveyed in Great Britain, France, Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands say that their company has adopted social networking as part of their working culture.
No word on how many employees use time at work to update their Facebook pages when they should be working. For the record, this reporter does. As to whether my office-bound colleagues at TMCnet do or not, I can honestly plead ignorance.
The research also reveals that the rate of adoption is most popular in Germany, leading the way at 72 percent while Great Britain lags behind with 59 percent.
When asked, 74 percent of European employees think there are benefits to using social networks and online communities in the workplace. Increasing an individual’s knowledge and giving access to products to problems (both 38 percent) were the two main benefits highlighted.
Harnessing the collective knowledge of employees, customers and suppliers (36 percent) and stimulating team building and better internal collaboration (32 percent) were also mentioned by those employees who have first-hand experience of using social networks at work on a daily basis.
A sample of 2510 interviews was collected with adult employees, aged 18+. Each country’s sample includes a minimum of 500 respondents per country from small and medium enterprise (249 employees or fewer) to large organizations (250 or more employees).

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David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David's articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Michael Dinan

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