Two Reports Show Influence Of Social Media & The Internet On The Workplace

Filed under: News,Technology,The Internet & the Workplace |
75% of employees access social media at work.
75% of employees access social media at work.

Two new reports show the growing influence of social media and the Internet on the workplace.

In the U.S., 75% of employees access social media at least once a day from their personal mobile devices while at work. More than half of U.S. companies do not block access to the Internet.

These are some of the finds of two recent surveys looking at the ways that workers are using social media and the Internet at work. And it appears many employees aren’t just using the Internet and social media to shop, chat and look at videos of kittens being adorable.

Research by SilkRoad Technology, a human resources technology company, reveals that even in organizations that don’t restrict access, the vast majority of employees use their mobile devices to check social media websites on a daily basis.

SilkRoad’s “Social Media and Workplace 2012 Report” surveyed more than 1,100 employees in North America to better understand how people are using social media at work.  A copy of the full report can be found here.

“Employees will use social media during the workday.  These findings make it clear: companies can either find ways to use social media to achieve measureable business results or they can ignore it at their own peril,” said Flip Filipowski, CEO, SilkRoad Technology.

“There is a common misperception that people only use social media for personal reasons,” Filipowski said. “This research proves that people are looking to social media to help them be better at their jobs – including connecting with co-workers and customers.”

SilkRoad’s findings on social media use at work include:

  • Most companies allow some type of access to social media at work. 43% of respondents reported working in organizations in which social media access was completely open. 24% monitored access. Only 16% said social media access was completely blocked.
  • Virtually no employers are asking for social media passwords. Despite the media and political buzz around the topic, 97% said that their employer or potential employer had not yet asked employees for social media passwords.
  • Employees use mobile devices frequently during working hours to access personal social media. 60% said they check personal social media more than once a day on their mobile devices.
  • Interacting with co-workers was the primary motivator for social media engagement during the workday. 49% said that connecting with co-workers was the top reason to use social media at work. Connecting with others on a fun social platform (47%) and connecting with customers (44%) were the second and third most popular reasons.
  • Twitter is overwhelmingly the most popular social media site accessed at work. 70% use Twitter, 65% use Facebook. Only 19% use corporate intranets.
  • Companies’ efforts to guide employee use of social technology are mixed. Only 23% reported having a specific social media policy from their employers. The same percentage reported having no policy.  17% of said their employers had informal guidelines. Less than 10% of employers offer social media training to employees.
  • When it comes to interacting with customers through social platforms, marketers lead and customer service is surprisingly behind. Of the people who say they use social media to connect with customers, 26% are in marketing. Surprisingly, customer support and product management reported infrequent use of social media to contact customers, 3.1% and 2.9% respectively.

The Social Media and Workplace 2012 Report was conducted from July-August 2012 through an online survey of a sample of 1,105 employees of corporations and not-for-profit organizations across the United States.

Of the respondents, 33% came from organizations having more than 1,000 employees, 44% were from Generation X, 44% were Millennials and 12% were Baby Boomers.

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