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Lack of networking culture a 'missed opportunity'

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Only half of business professionals in the UK see networking as a professional skill, research released today suggests.

EY commissioned a survey of 750 professionals, along with Fully Connected, a white paper by Cass Business School professor of networking Julia Hobsbawm.

Only 53% of those asked said they believed networking to be valuable. Of those who did, face-to-face networking was still the most popular method.

More than half (56%) said they network in person. Email was the second most popular, with 44% reporting they used it.

Social media forums are still not seen as the most effective way to network, with only 33% saying they used it for that purpose. Phone conversations are the least popular medium, with only 28% of respondents saying they networked via calls. 

Almost half of respondents (47%) said they didn't feel they had the necessary connections to succeed in their role.

Hobsbawm says networking is a vital way to develop these connections.

"Being able to network and collaborate with peers is now being directly linked to productivity," she said.

"It can only be a matter of time before more of us recognise the value of investing in relationships and building social capital.”