Companies in the UK are falling behind the rest of Europe in their use of social networking in the workplace, according to a report by AT&T. Germany led the five countries reviewed, with 72% of companies utilising some form of social networking.
Contrary to the perception that existing online social networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook are gaining ground in the office, only 15% of businesses in Europe sanctioned corporate use of these sites. The most popular social networking tools by a wide margin were collaboration capabilities provided by companies’ own corporate intranets (39%), their internal forums (20%) and internally produced video material (16%).
Respondents claimed the benefits could be substantial: 65% said social networking had made them and their colleagues more efficient, while 46% said it had resulted in a boost to creativity in the workplace. Only a quarter of European employees thought the use of social networks and online communities had no benefits, although common challenges cited included employee distraction (49%) and leaking of confidential information (45%).