Businesses are well aware of how BYOD has turned tightly controlled IT policies on hardware into flexible, multi-platform, environments where ‘the cloud’ provides a service synced across multiple devices.

The latest survey from Microsoft suggests the BYOD movement was just the beginning, with a new wave of employees now choosing to bring their social networks into the workplace, and claiming higher productivity levels as a result.

The survey was conducted across 32 countries, with the results broken down by age, gender and location. When it came to productivity gains, thanks to social tools, there was a clear age distinction in the responses.

Age Percentage
18 – 23 53%
25 – 34 50%
35 – 44 46%
45+ 41%

Why social?

The most common reason for wanting to use social tools was to improve collaboration, with 68% stating they use ‘social’ to communicate with colleagues, and 39% claiming their work colleagues do not collaborate enough.

BYOD was about people wanting to use the same hardware and OS at work as they did at home. Bring Your Own Social is being driven by a similar trend, with employees wanting to use instant messaging and cloud services to deliver better communications and collaboration at work, just as they do to share files and chat at home.

Embrace social

Team members bringing in their own social tools could open up a security hole. However that doesn’t mean companies should prevent employees from collaborating using methods they are comfortable with.

In a home environment, younger workers are used to catching up via instant messaging and group chats (such as Facebook Messenger and Google hangouts). A similar working environment can be created through Microsoft Lync, which provides secure, enterprise-level instant messaging and web conferencing.

Users can see who is available online, easily start group chats using audio and video, and create shared working environments that integrate with your existing Microsoft Exchange environment.

The full results of the Microsoft survey are online with an