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Managers worldwide are clamping down on use of social networking sites at work, a new report has claimed.
The report by Clearswift, an internet security firm, shows concern over social media use has risen sharply within a year, with 19% of companies worldwide claiming to engage in blocking employee access to social networking sites, compared to just 9% in 2010. Blocking is most evident in Germany (23%) and Australia (21%). While most firms see social media as critical to their future success, particularly with regards to communication, 87% of companies in the survey are so concerned about security and data loss that it has preventing technology adoption.
Paradoxically, 41% of companies globally agree that the benefits of social media outweigh the drawbacks. This rises to 48% in the UK and 58% in the United States. Even in Japan, where attitudes towards social media are more sceptical, 28% agree. Companies are planning to invest more in social media this year than last, however. Investment will be strongest in the United States, where 44% expect to invest, and the UK, where 31% expect to do so. Investment is expected to be weakest in Germany (18%) and Japan (13%).
Andrew Wyatt, Chief Operating Officer, Clearswift, says: “It’s clear that we have seen some significant changes in attitude to social media in the last 12 months. Businesses have reacted to the series of high profile data leaks and have become increasingly nervous about its usage in the workplace.
“Rather than embracing new channels of communication, companies have clamped down and become overtly defensive which is consequently stifling potential avenues of growth. However, the research also provides evidence that businesses do recognise the importance of new technologies which leads me to believe that this is a knee jerk reaction rather than a long term trend.”
I-COM Say: Your staff are potentially your #1 social media asset, and smart managers will leverage this asset by drawing up rules and processes that will allow their staff to access and make use of social networks in an effective, appropriate and responsible manner. I-COM’s social media consultants can work with you and your staff to devise a strategy that will make the most of social media for your company – contact us online or call today - 0844 704 6830.