The research found that many office workers are running the risk of being overwhelmed by a data deluge. Over a third (38 per cent) of respondents said they now suffer from information overload at work, and the trends suggest that this is set to get worse.
“The habit of ‘blasting’ out emails to a large group of people to ensure that there is no chance of leaving anyone out of a particular message has created a situation where email is now becoming counter-productive,” said Tim Barker, Vice President EMEA strategy for salesforce.com.
“Office workers are now facing the choice of trawling through countless emails that have nothing to do with them or ignoring them and potentially missing out on vital messages.”
At the same time, the research shows that social media is on the rise in the workplace, with nearly half of workers using social media at work every day. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this is being shepherded in by the younger generation, with that figure jumping to 56 per cent for those in their early twenties and two thirds for those just entering the job market.
However, the younger generation are not just using social media for social engagement but as a useful business collaboration tool. Around three quarters of respondents under 35 said they get some business benefit from the information they get from social media, while only about half of those 35 and older feel the same way.
Unlike email, the social media model allows users to decide what matters most to them like what people they want to connect with and which groups to be a part of. Why shouldn’t business communication and collaboration be this easy? Why shouldn’t employees be able to have relevant information about people, projects and data pushed to them rather than being inundated with irrelevant emails?
Salesforce have tried to help address this with their Chatter application, which uses familiar features like profiles, status updates, and feeds, and allows users to subscribe to a variety of objects within the Salesforce CRM such as opportunities, accounts, contacts or customer service cases.
In addition, users can follow documents such as sales presentations and create private groups for specific topics like marketing campaigns, all helping to ensure alignment across every department through better collaboration.
“If our employees are going to cope with the growing volumes of information produced on a daily basis, we need to adopt a completely new approach to business collaboration, making sure people can get access to the information they need, when they need it,” said Chen Kotecha, Managing Director of Scancom.