12% would spend their own money for social tools

In a recent study, Microsoft determined that 12 percent of those surveyed would be willing to spend their own money of a new social tool if it made the them more productive in the workplace. An additional 19 percent somewhat agreed, adding up to 31 percent. As the survey stated, “Just 30 percent of respondents feel their managers embrace social tools, and more than one-third feel their company underestimates the benefits of these tools.”


This goes beyond bring your own device, and it is heading into the area I was discussing in a recent post (see “Shadow IT is growing because everything is IT“) when I made the case that BYOD is actually “bring your own mind” (BYOM). Buying your own tools — or using free ones that the company doesn’t officially sanction — is just the most blatant extreme of that trend.

Some of the other results on this chart, which I know is hard to read:

  • I like using new technologies that make me productive at work: 40 percent agreed completely, 37 percent somewhat, or 77 percent in all
  • Social tools have resulted in more collaboration at my workplace: 12 percent and 26 percent, or 38 percent in all
  • People in my organization do not collaborate enough: 13 percent and 26 percent, or 39 percent in all
  • I could do my job better if the management of my organization was more supportive of the use of social tools: 14 percent and 24 percent, or 28 percent in all
  • My company understands the value of providing social tools in order to improve employee collaboration and productivity: 11 percent and 26 percent, or 37 percent in all
  • My management asks for employee suggestions on tools that could help us be more productive at work: 10 percent and 23 percent, or 33 percent in all
  • My management underestimates the benefit of social tools in the workplace: 10 percent and 23 percent, or 33 percent in all
  • My managers/bosses embrace the use of social tools and encourage us to use them at work: 10 percent and 21%: 31% in all.

Management gets bad grades, and people seem to be much more willing to adopt new tools than they usually are given credit for. Obviously, companies are not doing enough and are averse to providing more new technologies to workers, and workers are contemplating the possibility of outfitting themselves even if they have to pay out of their own pockets.