New research from SilkRoad Technology 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.
Released today, SilkRoad’s “Social Media and Workplace 2012 Report” surveyed more than 1,100 employees in North America to understand how people are using social media at work to communicate and collaborate with co-workers, customers, partners and acquaintances.
A copy of the full report can be found here.
Workers using social media to help with their jobs
“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. 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.”
The survey revealed attitudes and common practices from all three generations currently in the workforce, including Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials. Notable findings include:
- Most companies allow some type of access to social media at work. 43 percent of respondents reported working in organizations in which social media access was completely open, 24 percent monitored access and only 16 percent said access to social media was completely blocked.
- Virtually no employers are asking for social media passwords. Despite the media and political buzz around the topic, 97 percent of respondents 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 percent of respondents said they check personal social media more than once a day on their mobile devices; three out of four workers check once a day or more.
- Interacting with co-workers was the primary motivator for social media engagement during the workday. 49 percent of respondents said that connecting with co-workers was the top reason to use social media while at work. The second and third most popular reasons were connecting with others on a fun social platform (47 percent) followed by connecting with customers (44 percent).
- Twitter is overwhelmingly the most popular social media site accessed at work. 70 percent of respondents use Twitter, 65 percent use Facebook while only 19 percent use corporate intranets.
- Companies’ efforts to guide employee use of social technology are mixed. Only 23 percent of respondents reported having a specific social media policy from their employers and the same percentage reported having no policy at all. 17 percent of respondents said their employers had issued informal guidelines and less than 10 percent of employers are offering 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 percent are in marketing. Surprisingly, customer support and product management reported infrequent use of social media to contact customers (3.1 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively).
The Social Media and Workplace 2012 Report was conducted from July-August 2012 through an online survey amongst a sample of 1,105 employees of corporations and not-for-profit organizations across the United States. Of the respondents, 33 percent came from organizations having more than 1,000 employees, 44 percent were from Generation X, 44 percent were Millennials and 12 percent were Baby Boomers.
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- Firms blocking social media access fear security threats and productivity loss
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- Five tips on visiting social, shopping or entertainment sites at work
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