Academic journal article The Public Manager

Three Trends Affect Social Media Adoption in Your Agency

Academic journal article The Public Manager

Three Trends Affect Social Media Adoption in Your Agency

Article excerpt

While social learning is gaining in momentum among chief learning officers, chief talent officers, and heads of human resources, there are a number of barriers to adopting social learning for an organization. To implement social learning, one has to understand the larger trends affecting the changing workplace, as well as key barriers that prevent the adoption of social learning inside the organization.

Three mega trends are having a huge impact on organizations: the increased use of social networking, the growth of workplace mobility, and the explosion of video-based traffic on the web. Taken together, these shifts increase organizations' interest in building more open, collaborative, and social cultures.

Social Networking

Social networking is the most popular online activity. According to PsychologyDegree.net, social networking has not only taken over our time but also changed how we communicate and relate to others. Social network users are amassing more than 1.2 million updates and spending one in five minutes of time on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook each day.

What's more, every 24 hours more than 250 million photos are shared with an average of 245 friends. Social networking has gone from a "Millennial activity" to one that is widespread across all demographic age segments. The implication is that employees increasingly will expect to bring their digital lives to the workplace and use their employer's internal social networks for working, learning, and communicating.

Workplace Mobility

Workplace mobility is becoming the norm for many organizations. Thanks to advances in technology, work no longer needs to be tethered to time or place. Telework Research Institute refers to this trend as the shifting of the word "work" from a noun to a verb, as in "telecommuting" or "workshifting." Since 2000, federal employees are encouraged to telework to the maximum extent possible (but only 5.2 percent do). The administration's proposed budget calls for a 50 percent increase in telework--there are more than two dozen federal, state, and local laws in process aimed at encouraging this practice.

There is no doubt that cultural issues remain, such as judging a worker's productivity based on "face time" in the office. But the growth of mobile devices has boosted interest in workplace mobility. According to a survey conducted by the telecommunications firm Ericsson, there will be more mobile devices than people by 2017. Ericsson predicts 9 billion mobile subscriptions, while the U.S. Census Bureau says the global population will be 7.5 billion that year.

What's more, TechCast, a virtual think-tank based at George Washington University, forecasts that 30 percent of the employees in industrialized nations will telework two to three days a week by 2019. TechCast also estimates that the market for products and services related to workplace mobility will reach $400 billion a year.

Video-Based Traffic

The explosion of video-based traffic is here to stay! According to Cisco's annual Visual Networking Index, 80 percent of the traffic on the Internet will be video-based by 2015. Last year, video comprised the majority of consumer Internet traffic for the first time, making up 53 percent of all uploads and downloads.

By 2015, video traffic will more than quadruple. Cisco estimates that when we account for peer-to-peer video sharing, the Internet will be made up of nearly 80 percent video content. By 2015, 1 million minutes of video--the equivalent of 674 consecutive days of viewing--will cross the Internet every second, and the community of online video users will double to more than 1 billion people. …

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