As today’s world becomes increasingly interconnected, digital disruption continues to present significant challenges for both businesses and their employees. However, despite technology constantly changing the way we work, a company’s most valuable asset remains its employees. With this in mind, when employees highlight the value that they believe social media could add to their office existence, why aren’t businesses listening?
After our research into the culture of ‘Digital Dexterity’, we found that not only did 44 per cent of workers believe that social media could help improve employee relationships, they also recognised its value for the sharing of skills, ideas, and online collaboration.
Businesses, however, do not share this view and have adopted a more oppressive approach to social media use in the workplace. Nearly half (46 per cent) of UK workers said that Facebook was banned in their workplace. This was closely followed by the likes of Twitter (34 per cent); Instagram (31 per cent); Snapchat (31 per cent); and, WhatsApp (29 per cent). This is known as outlawing collaboration.
The new wave of millennials that has just entered today’s workforce has brought with it a fresh approach to the benefits of social media. Trends such as the consumerisation of IT and widespread use of social has ensured that new joiners are often adept at using technology and quickly embedding themselves into workplace operations with these existing skills.
The outlawing of sites like Facebook therefore not only represents a somewhat draconian approach but also results in a two-pronged negative impact on digital dexterity. These tools form a staple medium of communication for the next generation, outlawing them only serves to narrow communication channels among employees.
Driving digital dexterity in the workplace is critical for building a long-term skilled workforce that can adapt to changing practices. Employees are now calling for businesses to undertake a more strategic approach to technology, and, in doing so, acknowledge the role that social plays in stronger workplace interactions.
Technology has the power to create a more dynamic, digitally adept workforce whilst driving significant growth. Businesses must use this opportunity to reimagine the future workplace and how better collaboration and innovation might be achieved. For businesses to thrive they must reverse these blanket bans and rethink how they bring workers closer together.