Nearly half of the UK’s office-based workforce use one or more social networking technologies every day, according to a report by BT Global Services.
The study found that the majority of these employees initially use the technologies at home and then adopt the same tools into the workplace in order to build and maintain contacts.
Of those with access to instant messaging (IM), 12% use it to contact clients, while 69% use it to contact immediate colleagues. Workers seem to acknowledge the impersonal limitations of IM too: only 15% use it as a management tool and 11% to deal with conflict situations.
The report’s lead author, associate director at The Work Foundation Alexandra Jones, claimed the results showed that “working relationships clearly matter to employees: the more trusted they feel by the organisation, the more likely it is that they will be satisfied with their jobs.
“Organisations that use new collaborative technologies to complement traditional methods of communication are able to continue fostering strong working relationships among employees, ensuring an environment in which workers can thrive,” she says.