Microsoft research released on 27th May reports that almost half of employees believe that social tools used in the workplace aid their productivity but interestingly, more than 30 percent of companies underestimate the value of these tools and therefore place restrictions upon their use by employees.

For the CIO it’s also worth taking note that 39% of employees feel there isn’t enough collaboration in their workplace and 40% believe social tools help to foster better teamwork.

Yammer’s Adam Pisoni agrees with employees highlighting the importance of social tools in the workplace saying “Social is moving from a nice-to-have tool to a necessity in the workplace. As all companies are faced with the increasing pace of change, they need to leverage the power and knowledge of employees more than their current technologies allow. Just as email accelerated business in the 90s, social tools are driving a faster flow of knowledge and information within and across organisations.”

31% of employees have even gone as far to say that they would spend their own money on purchasing social tools.

What is the Microsoft vision for Social tools?

Microsoft envisions enterprise social as a fibre connecting all collaboration tools within an enterprise not as a separate website or app that must be added into employee’s daily mix of activities.

What are the Business Benefits?

The introduction of social tools such as Yammer, Office 365, Microsoft Lync and Microsoft Dynamics CRM into the enterprise environment for collaboration, sharing and communicating purposes can benefit the CIO and the business through increased team collaboration, employee engagement and the ability to be flexible in response to changing business needs such as the increase of ‘non routine’ work Gartner predicts that by predicts that by 2015, 40 percent or more of an organisation’s work will be 'non-routine', up from 25 percent in 2010.

The Microsoft survey highlighted four business benefits; improve employee engagement, build more productive teams, create a connected organisation, and also five ways in which to achieve success with social.