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  • ‘Asia-Pacific employees say social tools at work help increase their productivity’

    Published on May 29, 2013

    India : While 61 percent of Asia-Pacific employees report that social tools at work help increase their productivity, 38 percent feel that tMicrosoftheir companies underestimate the value of the tools, often restricting their use, reports a new Microsoft research released on Wednesday

    The survey, conducted for Microsoft by the research firm Ipsos, of 1,825 employees across the APAC region also found that 40 percent of employees feel there isn’t enough collaboration in their workplaces and that social tools could foster better teamwork. According to the survey findings, 57 percent of employees in the Asia-Pacific region would like to be more involved in the decisions to add new technologies and tools at their workplaces, and 45 percent of employees would be willing to spend their own money on social tools to drive company efficiencies.

    “Employees were 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 that are embracing these tools are improving collaboration, speeding customer responses and creating competitive advantage.”

    Some employees, however, are facing challenges as their companies are hesitant of implementing social tools. Of the survey respondents, 39 percent said their IT departments can be a barrier to using new tools, with 74 percent naming security concerns and 47 percent citing the fear of productivity loss as the top obstacles in their organizations. As they face these challenges, 23 percent of employees in the Asia-Pacific region say they have ignored their organization’s IT policy to install social tools, and 32 percent say they know someone who has.

    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.

    Regions (Global findings)

    ·         Employees in the Asia-Pacific region were most likely to attribute higher productivity levels to the increased use of social tools, followed by Latin America and Europe. Employees in Latin America, however, were most likely to credit social tools with greater collaboration in the workplace, followed by the Asia-Pacific region and Europe.

    ·         Greater proportions of workers in Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region are using social tools — and with greater frequency. In contrast, those in North America and Europe have been slower in adopting many social tools.


    Key Findings from India

    ·         9 in 10 Indian workers use email, followed closely by 8 in 10 who use IM/video conferencing, and three quarters who use team sites/intranets.  In India, usage levels of these tools tend to be higher than most other markets across the board.

    ·         The most prevalent social tools in the Indian community are also those recognized by workers as most useful and encouraged in the workplace. External social networks, micro blogging, and internal social networks are restricted by one quarter of Indian organizations.

    ·         7 in 10 workers feel that security concerns are to blame for the restrictions, while 6 in 10 feel the restrictions are due to productivity loss. However, 71% of respondents feel social tools have actually helped to increase their productivity.

    ·         Likewise, 7 in 10 feel social tools have increased workplace collaboration, and that their company recognizes the value of providing social tools – more so than in most other countries.

    Sectors (Global findings)

    ·         Email is the most widely used social tool by employees in the IT sector, followed by team sites/intranets, video conferencing, and IM.  IT professionals tend to use more social tools than employees in other industry sectors.

    ·         Financial services and government employees are most likely to say their company places restrictions on the use of social tools, likely due to the high level of regulation in those sectors.

    ·         Moreover, professionals in financial services (74 percent) and government (72 percent) are more likely than those in other fields to say these restrictions are due to security concerns, while those working in retail (59 percent) and travel and hospitality (57 percent) are more likely to blame productivity loss.

    Gender (Global findings)

    ·         Men are more likely than women to attribute higher productivity levels to social tools in a professional setting.

    ·         Women are more likely than men to believe their company restricts the use of social tools.

    ·         Men are more likely than women to say these restrictions are due to security concerns, while women are more likely to blame productivity loss.

    Potential of Social Tools

    Done right, enterprise social can drive significant business value by improving how employees connect, share information, and work across teams and geographies, as well as beyond the organization walls to customers, vendors and other key relationships.

    “Just as email accelerated the pace of business in the ’90s, enterprise social will be the driver for greater agility and transformation in the 21st century workplace,” said Ramkumar Pichai, GM – Microsoft Office Division at Microsoft. “As we look ahead at how collaboration and communications continue to evolve, we believe that the tools people use today — email, IM, voice, videoconferencing and social — will come together and be deeply integrated into apps in ways that will speed collaboration and truly transform the way people work.”

    Microsoft envisions enterprise social as a fiber connecting all collaboration tools within an enterprise, not as a separate website or app that must be added into employees’ daily mix of activities. Companies stand to benefit as they start to use social tools such as Yammer — and embedded social capabilities within Office 365, Lync and Microsoft Dynamics CRM — for collaboration, sharing, and communicating outside and inside their organizations. Advantages include an increase in team collaboration, employee engagement, organizational connectedness, and the flexibility required to react nimbly and quickly to business changes and demands.

    To aid in cross-border collaboration, Yammer announced the availability of the new Message Translation feature this week, which allows people to instantly translate Yammer conversations into their native language, removing language as a barrier to collaboration. Message Translation is available for Yammer Enterprise customers at no additional cost and can be enabled simply by network administrators.

     Source : Suresh Krishnan


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