Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Enterprise 2.0: Twittering at home, silent at work

Avira poll: Are social networking tools finally conquering the workplace?

Tettnang, 15 April 2009 – Twitter, facebook, Xing, Linkedin: at home people are using social networks to communicate all kinds of information. Sooner or later, if they don’t want to be left behind, even the skeptical of this mass phenomenon will be using at least one network to stay in touch. It is clear that this omnipresent Internet technology has changed interpersonal communications; social networks are the meeting and information exchange point of the digital world. But how does social networking affect our working lives?

This was the subject of a recent Avira poll, in which 1,837 visitors to the website were asked to comment on "The moral issue of the month".
“Social networking is conquering the workplace – yes or no? The hot topics of conversation were Twitter, Wikipedia & Co. Be honest, is your employer already taking advantage of interactive web-tools?

12 percent of users stated that social networks serve no useful purpose in the workplace. Advocates of networking tools however see many advantages for businesses: fast, global information exchange, interactive communication between employees and customers and an extra platform for business presentation and customer acquisition.

For 18 percent of those polled, this sounds like pie in the sky: - “We’ve only just got access to email – social networking tools are a distant dream”. A further ten percent of those polled have already gone a step further, they say that a small percentage of employees in their company use Twitter, facebook and others already.

Social networks – still just a leisure activity with nothing to offer business? “The technology is still in its infancy and it may be that many company bosses have security concerns,” suspects Rainer Witzgall, Executive Vice President of Avira. “The first thing a company should do is lay down rules, for example, on what is and what is not acceptable for blogging and how much time employees are allowed to spend on it. Employees in turn must actually want to join the interactive community and recognise the benefits of this, or else it serves no purpose". Bosses must also be prepared to give their employees more freedom and responsibility. "Social networking pertains to an entire business philosophy, not just individual business sectors”, explains Witzgall. “Employees using social networking in the workplace are also helping to shape external perceptions of the business”.

Social network tools – the argument rages on: whether they will conquer business remains to be seen. A quarter of Internet users are convinced that virtual methods can never replace conventional communication or interaction.

About Avira

Avira protects people in the connected world – enabling everyone to manage, secure, and improve their digital lives. The Avira umbrella covers a portfolio of security and performance applications for Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS. In addition, the reach of our protective technologies extends through OEM partnerships. Our security solutions consistently achieve best-in-class results in independent tests for detection, performance, and usability. Avira is a privately-owned company that employs 500 people. Its headquarters are near Lake Constance, in Tettnang, Germany, and the company has additional offices in Romania, India, Singapore, China, Japan & the United States. A portion of Avira's sales support the Auerbach Foundation, which assists education, children, and families in need. For more information about Avira visit