More workplaces intend to lockdown access to the ‘social Web’ despite its organisational benefits, according to software security vendor, Clearswift.
In the latest edition of its global annual research report, the company outlined attitudes towards social media and personal technology in today’s workplace.
The research conducted was via an online survey of 1529 employees and 906 managers in companies in the UK, US, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, and Japan.
It found that the number of Australian organisations actively discouraging or blocking the use of Web 2.0 social media tools has increased from 20 per cent last year to 33 per cent. This was despite increased use of tools such as Skype, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and FaceBook since 2010.
Eighty-nine per cent of said data loss or security concerns are hindering technology acceptance and 43 per cent of managers surveyed confirmed a security incident had taken place as a result of using an Internet-based application, with more than half naming staff for using social media in the workplace.
However, 48 per cent of Australian organisations see Web collaboration as key to future company succes; 30 per cent have increased their investment in social media over the past 12 months.
Clearswift Asia-Pacific regional director, Phil Vasic, said, “Alarm bells come from the employers who appear to have regressed, despite their investment in social media technologies and supporting technologies, and recognition that the social Web benefits their organisation. They need to applaud their employees and see that a ‘stop and block’ approach will only hold their organisation back online and reduce their ability to win employee trust.”
The survey also presented three other findings, which include:
- Social security – 72 per cent of employees are more aware of appropriate content and behaviour as compared to 50 per cent last year. The number of respondents who regretted sending content via email or a social networking site was reduced from 29 per cent last year to 16 per cent. Two-thirds of respondents said they always think about security when using social media tools, with Australia scoring the highest in this area when conducting financial transactions online (77 per cent). However, 38.5 per cent of them felt it is entirely their employer’s responsibility to safeguard Web and email security – the highest of all countries surveyed.
- Work-life blur – Australians have managed to progress their work life balance, with 35 per cent of employees agreeing to have ‘some’ or ‘a lot’ of work life overlap, down from 48 per cent in 2010. The overlap comes regardless of the rise in the use of smartphones for business (45 per cent) and tablets/iPad (34.5 per cent) this year. Three-quarters of Australians said the length of the working day is not impacted by the use of tablets and smartphones. Clearswift said the result could be due to the fact that Australian employees are getting better at separating their work and home life or that mobile devices and the associated work patterns they promote, are becoming pervasive enough to blur the boundaries between home and work.
- Smart policy –One-fifth of the employee respondents believe that social media makes them better at their job though 70 per cent said it can be disrupting, signifying that they are working more to observe and control their own productivity.
NOTE: This is vendor-sponsored research and should be approached as such.