UK companies fall behind EU in social networking

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.

The UK came last with 59% penetration, well below the five-country average of 65%.

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%).

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