German workers cold on the social enterprise – study

German workers are the least enthusiastic in Europe about the use of social tools in the workplace, a survey commissioned by web giant Google has found.

Only 53% of German workers surveyed were ‘enthusiastic’ about the potential for social tools – including consumer social networks as well as internal social collaboration systems – to improve the way they work.

Italy and Spain were the most enthusiastic, with 74% of workers reporting enthusiasm. The UK was third out of the countries surveyed, with 65%.

One senior manager from the UK was quoted in the report saying that internal social tools let him "talk candidly with colleagues and look at other people’s ideas in a bit more of a relaxed atmosphere".

The survey, conducted by market research agency Millward Brown, asked respondents which areas of work they would be most affected by social tools over the next two years. "Finding information" and "building professional relationships" were the most popular responses, with 50% of respondents each. "Attracting and keeping talent" was bottom of the list, with just 37% of respondents.

It did not ask whether the respondents were using social tools. Thomas Davies, head of Google Enterprise UK, said the company has "no doubt that social tools are going to be significant in the enterprise".

"What we’re more interested in is understanding exactly how can you quantify [success] and with which business leaders: CEO, CFO or head of HR," he said. "For us, it’s not just about the macrotrends, it’s about having an intelligent conversation with board members about the impact to the business that we will help you provide."

When asked how many enterprise organisations were using Google’s social networking platform, Google+, Davies said it is "early days for Google+, on both for the consumer and the enterprise. Larry and the company have made absolutely clear … that we see social as being a social layer, tied in to share content and knowledge across the entire portfolio of Google’s products."

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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