By Claire West

Today, Swedish online collaboration tool Projectplace presents a European survey that reveals the attitude of project workers towards different communication channels. The survey was conducted among project managers and project members in Scandinavia, Germany, the UK, France and the Netherlands. The findings suggest that social media can have a positive impact on work productivity.

European project workers do believe that tools with social media functionality can help them work more efficiently. More than 50 per cent specified that conversation tools inspired by social media can improve work productivity and communication in projects. Swedes turned out to be most optimistic in this regard with 54.2 %, distantly followed by UK users with only 40.8% saying they thought conversation tools inspired by social media, can improve work productivity and communication in projects.

“Many still believe that social media tools are purely intended for private usage and thereby overlook the potential for business communication,” said Pelle Hjortblad, CEO at Projectplace. “It is, however, time to rethink, take the best of social media and put it into a business context as we did when adding a conversation tool in Projectplace earlier this year.”

88.6 per cent specified that email is their preferred communication tool for exchanging information between project members. Company policies prohibit 13 per cent of the respondents across Europe to use social media at work. Yet, a total of 22.5 percent are regularly using them for professional use. Those figures are in line with recent predictions: Gartner, for instance, predicts that social networking services will replace email as the primary vehicle for interpersonal communications for 20 per cent of business users by 2014.

“For many years we have believed in the potential of social media tools and their ability to improve communication and transparency within project collaboration,” said Pelle Hjortblad, CEO at Projectplace. “The means of communication in work project will change rapidly in the near future as people today are getting used to constantly be connected and updated with the latest info.”

Another interesting finding of the survey is that 16.4 per cent stated they used chat tools such as MSN, Google talk or Yammer to get in touch with project members and exchange information.