Social technologies and the future of collaboration


Social technologies are transforming communication within organisations more than ever before.

A global survey by McKinsey looked into how advanced social tools and technologies are changing the way many organisations work and these tools are becoming more integrated than ever before. Messaged-based platforms are gaining traction and in some organisations are becoming more heavily relied on than traditional channels of communication.

New tools and technologies for internal communications are becoming catalysts for organisational change by enabling employees to communicate more often and to self-organise with team members. Some of the responding companies said that these technologies have changed the very nature of the way they work to become more project based, rather than team or function based.

Although advanced technologies are becoming increasingly popular, nearly three-quarters of respondents say they rely primarily on older technologies, such as email, phone calls, and texting, to communicate with others at work.

At the same time, respondents report that the integration of social technologies in day-to-day work is greater than ever before (see below). In the latest survey, 45 percent say social technologies are very or extremely integrated into day-to-day work at their companies, up from one-third who said so one year before.

social technologies in day-to-day work is greater than ever beforeUsage of these technologies is especially common in organisations that have adopted message-based platforms. Respondents at these companies are 2.5 times likelier than other executives to say social tools are extremely integrated into their company’s work. Relative to their peers, they also report less reliance on email and phone (see below).

On average, respondents at organisations with message-based platforms report spending 62 percent of their time using traditional communication tools and 38 percent of their time using social tools, compared with a 71-29 split for all other respondents.

social technologies overtaking email and phone
















Read the full findings of the McKinsey report.

Interested in how social technologies are affecting the future of internal communications? Join us at our flagship smilelondon conference on 20th November to discuss the future of the digital workplace.