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updated 5/28/2013 7:15:40 PM ET 2013-05-28T23:15:40

A global survey of workers shows a surprising trend: companies in developing countries such as China and India are more progressive about using social media in the workplace than are their counterparts in the United States.

Microsoft today (May 28) released the results from a survey of nearly 10,000 employees. Participants spent most of their time at computers and worked with at least 100 other individuals.

To get a quick idea of the disparity between the United States and emerging nations, consider that 23 percent of Americans said they never use social media as a communication tool at work. Among the Chinese, by contrast, only 1 percent said they did not use social media. In Brazil, Russia and India, no more than 6 percent of workers said they didn't use these social tools.

Collaborating with colleagues was the most popular use for social media, followed by sharing documents, reaching out to clients, building a professional network and promoting one's own projects. In fact,  China  led each of these categories, with the exception of building a network, in which India topped the surveyed countries.

The United States trailed in all categories, but the gap was biggest in the use of  social media  to promote a worker's own initiatives; only 24 percent of Americans said they did this, compared with 61 percent of Chinese workers.

More than half of the respondents in Brazil,  Russia , India and China said using social tools made them more productive. China was the most enthusiastic of the group, with 84 percent agreeing that these tools helped them in the workplace. As for Americans, only 33 percent of those that used social media at work said it helped them be more productive.

Follow Leslie Meredith  @lesliemeredith. Follow us  @TechNewsDaily, on  Facebook  or on  Google+.

© 2012 TechNewsDaily

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