Britain Lags behind Europe in Enterprise 2.0

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by: Matt Rhodes

A report out this week from AT&T explores the adoption of social networking in the workplace and the rise of Enterprise 2.0. Based on 2,500 interviews in five countries (Great Britain, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany) the report looks at what use is made of which tools and how this helps (or otherwise in the workplace).

The headline findings are interesting on their own and suggest a growing acceptance and usefulness of social networks and social media in the enterprise. Almost two-thirds of those responding (65%) said that social networks had increased either their efficiency at work, or the efficiency of their colleagues. But perhaps a greater sign of the power that social networks can bring to the workplace is the 63% of respondents who said that using them had enabled them to do something that they hadn’t been able to do before.

This starts to show the real power of social media – it’s not just about letting people do old things in new ways, but about facilitating completely new ways of connecting, sharing, and indeed of working.

What is most interesting, however, is to explore this data a little bit deeper, and indeed to look at the data on a country-by-country basis. Taking only the adoption of social networks as part of “everyday life at work in Europe”, the figures reveal something surprising – Great Britain lags behind the other countries in the study:

  1. Germany – 72% of respondents report adoption of social networks in the workplace
  2. Netherlands – 67%
  3. Belgium – 65%
  4. France – 62%
  5. Great Britain – 59%

This positioning is surprising, not least as adoption of social networks like Facebook is higher in Great Britain than elsewhere in Europe. That rate of adoption of Enterprise 2.0 may reflect more on British working styles and habits, or indeed on the mix of industries that predominate in that country. But whatever the reasoning it would be good to see higher adoption in the UK, if only because, as this survey shows, those organisations that adopt Enterprise 2.0 can be more efficient and can let you do things you have never done before. In the current economic climate, organisations could benefit from both of these.

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