Trend Micro surveyed 1,600 corporate computer end-users from the U.S., Japan, Germany and the U.K during March. The survey showed that the number of American workers who use social media during the work day grew by 4 percentage points from 20 percent in 2008 to 24 percent in 2010. German workers matched the U.S., while Japanese workers using social media dropped 3 percentage points from 17 percent in 2008 to 14 percent in 2010.
In Japan, small company employees are more likely to use social media than large company employees, according to the survey. Workers in the U.K. exceeded Japan, Germany and U.S. with their social media usage measuring 33 percent in 2010.
In all countries except Japan, laptop users are more likely to log on to social media websites while on the company’s network than desktop users. Most Japanese citizens access the Internet via a mobile device, such as phone, rather than a laptop.
Globally, social networking usage rose 8 percent from 2008 to 2010. In the U.S., it increased by 10 percent, while in Germany it rose by 14 percent.
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So, why the rise in social media usage? Well, more and more people than ever have created social media profiles. The number continues to grow. While the rise in social media usage can be attributed to workers slacking off playing Farmville or chatting with a long-lost friend and resulting in lost productivity, the rise can also be attributed to a concerted effort by small, medium and large companies to market their products and services through social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and linkedIn. A large percentage of social media usage could be coming from workers actually working.