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Do me a favor and think about the top tools that you like to use for workshifting.

Now if you are like me, I will bet that some, if not all, of the tools that you just came up with have some social aspect to them. Mark Zuckerberg is right, humans are social creatures and like to feel like they are part of something bigger, something that we can connect to. Much like the community we are building here at Workshifting.com, we all like to have somewhere to go to find people of like mind and thoughts and workshifters are no different.

If I were going to rattle off a list that many of you might have, I would bet it might include Twitter, Facebook, maybe a few LinkedIn’s, but if your company is like a lot of others these tools are a no-no for use in the enterprise. To a certain extent there are valid arguments for not allowing these tools. Sharing company-specific information on a social network could be considered a bad idea. How many times have we seen Tweets or Facebook posts that have come back to haunt someone?

So what’s a good workshifter to do? Why not consider introducing one of the new “enterprise class” social networking tools into your business? Companies of all sizes are starting to realize that the traditional ways of hiring and managing people are just not going to work any longer. The value of allowing people to communicate and collaborate in ways they feel comfortable is quickly becoming the present and future way that we are going to work.

The good news is that the enterprise social tools are getting better; I wanted to throw out a few that I know of and hopefully you can leave some that you like in the comments.

Microsoft SharePoint – If you are a Microsoft shop, SharePoint has quickly become the go-to intranet site for your business. Because it takes the tools that most companies use and love, the Microsoft Office suite, and builds in tight integration with SharePoint, the functionality is hard to beat. Microsoft has seen the social light and is quickly trying to build social aspects into their products and their latest release, SharePoint 2010, has the most social hooks to date. Best of all is that there are several bolt-on products from companies like Newsgator that can kick the social aspect up a notch.

Yammer – I consider Yammer to be the Twitter for the enterprise. Much like Twitter, Yammer allows you to create a profile for each of your employees, post and reply to comments and thoughts, securely share files, and direct message each other all via their app. They even have a great starting price: free! All you need is a company email address to sign up.

Salesforce.com Chatter – When you hear “Salesforce” you might instantly think CRM but they have rolled out a new collaboration tool that is getting pretty good reviews. I consider Chatter to be more like an internal, private Facebook for your business and all of the good Facebook features are there. Profiles, groups, status updates, file sharing – all that you need to help make your business more collaborative.

How about you? These are a few that I have come up with. Which ones would you add?

Photo Credit: stitch

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  • Phbranny

    Skype. Period amen. It replaces chat. video calls with co workers managers and employees. I can and large files that email won’t handle. virtually eliminated costly overseas calls. It is a great collaborative back channel for client conference calls when my team is in at least three different States.

    • mkmartin

      Ahh yes, Skype is a great tool in the workshifters toolbox. Have you seen more Skype adoption in larger businesses? I know that Microsofts Lync (Office Communicator) has seen some good adoption in the enterprise space but with IT starting to be more consumer driven will we see larger adoption of Skype.

      Great thought and thanks for the post!

  • http://www.facebook.com/johnmharvey John Harvey

    I was thinking about wikipedia too. You create and collaborate on that.

    • mkmartin

      John, I have seen several instances where businesses are starting to adopt wikis for internal collaboration. Great tools for throwing out information and getting people to collaborate on it for sure.

      With microblogging, straight up blogs, status updates, the wiki seems to be fading in popularity. But for straight up sharing of information/collaboration tool it can be hard to beat.

      Thanks for stopping by!