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Employees believe social media is the answer to greater productivity

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There is no doubt that social media has changed the way people communicate with one another on a daily basis, but surprisingly, its usage is still comparatively lacking in work environments.

What is more, many companies are actively discouraging the use of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn during the work day, as they believe such software only serves as a huge distraction to staff.

That is according to a survey of 9,908 employees conducted by research firm Ipsos for Microsoft, which found that nearly half of those questioned want to see greater use of social media tools at work.

Some 39 per cent of respondents believe there is not enough collaboration between colleagues and as a result, 40 per cent say the solution is social media tools which will allow them to work together easily.

Some employees are already bringing their own devices into shared office spaces and now many are taking the matter into their own hands and utilising personal social media tools to boost their productivity.

Kurt DelBene, president of Microsoft Office Division, said: “Just as email accelerated the pace of business in the ’90s, enterprise social will be the driver of greater agility and transformation in the 21st century workplace.”

Companies that underestimate the power of social media are therefore being urged to embrace changing trends in the way in which people communicate.

The tools that people use today – email, instant messaging, voice, videoconferencing, social – should be brought together and be deeply integrated into apps in ways that will speed collaboration and truly transform the way people work, Mr DelBene believes.

It is important for employers to react to business changes and demands as when done properly, social media can significantly drive business value by improving how employees connect, share information and work across teams.

In addition, it can help keep the lines of communication open so remote workers can easily keep in touch. On top of this, social media can speed up customer responses and create competitive advantages.