Are Social Tools important within the workplace?


In a recent survey of 9,908 information workers in 32 countries, it was found that close to half of employees said social tools help increase their productivity. Furthermore, close to one-third said they would spend their own money to buy social tools for work.

Zurmo - Social ToolsThe survey found that many organisations underestimated the value of social tools and often restricted their usage. The main culprits of this were companies in the financial services sector and the government. Security concerns and productivity loss appear to be the primary reasons that people believe organizations restrict social tools at work which can actually be used for many positive things, including; communicating with colleagues, sharing documentation, communicating with customers and clients, growing professional networks and promoting work related initiatives. Mark Fidelman, CEO of social business consultancy Evolve!, felt that the problem with organisations restricting social media “is that a rigid, tightly controlled process inhibits innovation and agility. And innovation and agility make organizations more adaptive to market changes and competitive threats.”

The survey conducted found that 77% of people like using new technologies that make them more productive at work, also, it found 39% of people felt that collaboration within their organisation does not happen enough. It would appear then that the use of social tools at work could certainly be beneficial. Social tools can definitely make people more productive at work and without doubt encourage collaboration. We like to use Zurmo, our CRM system, with its inbuilt social tools.

ZurmoThe ability to share what’s going on with everyone else in the company, comment on things that are posted such as queries or sales, add files to share with colleagues and the ability to acccess users profiles all encourages communication and collaboration. It is possible to see what people are doing or have done that day and if needed either give or gain help and advice. Social tools at work can help quickly and simply solve issues by calling on the experience of everyone within your organisation. The image towards the top of this page shows the field in Zurmo that allows you to share what you have been doing that day and information or files with colleagues.

So, with social tools becoming more and more popular and the benefits becoming more and more apparent, maybe it’s time your company started to exploit social collaboration?

About the author 

Pete Baikins

Pete Baikins is an international authority on gamification, a lifelong gamer, successful entrepreneur and a lecturer. As CEO of Gamification+ Ltd he mentors and trains companies world-wide on the use of gamification to solve business challenges. Gamification+ won the Board of Trade Award from the UK's Department of International Trade in January 2019.

Pete is co-host of the health gamification podcast Health Points and is also Chair of Gamification Europe, the annual conference for Gamification practitioners.

Pete is an Honorary Ambassador for GamFed (International Gamification Confederation), having previously been the Chair from 2014 to February 2019, whose aim is to spread best practices within and support the gamification industry.

After 15 years as a Lecturer on gamification and entrepreneurship at the University of Brighton he now guest lectures on Gamification at King’s College London and at ESCP Europe at post-graduate and under-graduate levels.

Over the past 20 years Pete has built and sold two businesses. One was in security software and the more recent one was a telecoms and internet connectivity business. He is also an Ambassador for Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce in the UK.

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