Why Plantronics "How we Work" Study is Incomplete

By John Brunswick posted 10-09-2010 09:39


Plantronics recently released a study entitled "How we work - Communication Trends of Business Professionals". The report highlights statistics around collaborative functions like voice, conferencing, SMS and other traditional communications technology - demonstrating that traditional methods are still the most valued in the workplace. The study also provides insight into Social Media use, but surprisingly makes no mention of mainstream enterprise 2.0 functionality.

Did Plantronics somehow equate Social Media to Enterprise 2.0?  Or did they miss Enterprise 2.0 altogether, omitting corporate intranets, blogs, wikis and discussion forums?

What is Business Productivity?
From Study - "Additionally, those surveyed said that the communications activity least critical to business productivity was posting and/or reading updates on social/professional
networking sites and blogs."

"Business Productivity" needs to be objectively defined.  I would suspect that the above line was added for a hook - illustrating that traditional voice communications will trump the latest communications tools and or fads.  With this being said, imagine the negative impact to business productivity in an organization's intranet disappeared - a tangible impact would absolutely be felt.

Enterprise 2.0 Enables Business Productivity
For a growing number of workers - their value comes from synthesis, not pure repetitive processes.  In quickly evolving fields these workers need to connect with the most current insights to guide their work.  These insights are not only new, but are also not found in a central place.  Traditional communications and media cannot carry these insights quickly enough and many workers are gaining tremendous "business productivity" from various blogs, wikis and social networks.

The Plantronics report was referenced in a ZDNet column, "Study: 'Employees not sociable at work'; Gen Y needs to change everything" - calling generation Y to action to ensure social media drove business value in the enterprise.

In the communications methods listed, "Posting / Regarding to Social Media Sites" is definitely the odd duck out in the lineup and if some of our more important asynchronous communications methods for knowledge workers were added Enterprise 2.0 technologies would have been included in the article.

Without Enterprise 2.0 capabilities it would be difficult for organizations to
* Communicate asynchronously across geographies
* Scale expertise in the enterprise / unlock tacit knowledge through ongoing discussions
* Browse and search contextualized, collective knowledge, to continue adding insights
* Locate and interact with peers centered around areas of practice

Baby and Bathwater
From Study - "Posting or reading updates on popular social/professional networking sites and blogs was identified as the least critical communications activity for business productivity." used to be the definitive job search site on the web.  Linkedin has used social technology to make a massive leap beyond the traditional search and has re-invented the space.  Social technologies are very relevant to enhancing an organization's ability to execute. AIIM's defines Enterprise 2.0 as "a system of web-based technologies  that provide rapid and agile collaboration, information sharing, emergence and integration capabilities in the extended enterprise" - seems like that would be excellent for business productivity and a key part of "How we Work".

#enterprise2.0 #comminication