The proliferation of social media, and in particular, the blurring of personal and professional networks is causing unease among workers, with almost one-third (30 percent) globally, now believing it is acceptable to use social media for personal use while at work.
Workers express serious reservations about the spread of social media into work. More than four-in-ten (43 percent) agree that it impacts adversely on productivity, with older generations and those in the Americas most concerned about the productivity impact. Nearly half of the workers (47 percent) also express concern that mixing personal and professional connections through social media could lead to problems in the workplace.
The findings are part of the latest survey results from the Kelly Global Workforce Index (KGWI), an annual survey conducted by Kelly Services. Survey participants reveal the key workplace challenges emerging as a result of the growth of social media — Internet forums, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and hundreds of niche sites that allow group conversation. Nearly 170,000 people across all generations in 30 countries, including in the Americas, APAC and EMEA regions, participated in the current survey.
Geographic location and age have a significant bearing on the manner in which social media is adopted as part of workplace culture. Globally, 30 percent of employees feel that it is acceptable to use social media for personal use while at work, but this varies widely, from 48 percent in APAC, 30 percent in EMEA, to just 16 percent in the Americas. Among the generations, 36 percent of Gen Y feel it is acceptable to use social media for personal use a work, but this falls to 30 percent of Gen X and 19 percent of Baby Boomers.
With the talent war for highly-skilled workers in full swing, it’s important to note that significantly more employees with Professional/Technical skill sets feel it is acceptable to use social media for personal use when at work (35 percent) compared to those with non-P/T skill sets (24 percent).
The results also show:
- Almost one-quarter (24 percent) feel that it is acceptable to share opinions about work with friends and colleagues on social media. This is highest in APAC, where 36 percent approve, compared with 22 percent in EMEA, and 17 percent in the Americas.
- A total of 12 percent of respondents have been told to stop using social media at work. Within the Americas, as few as 6 percent have been told to stop, compared to 13 percent in EMEA and 18 percent in APAC.
- More than one-quarter (30 percent) are more inclined to search for jobs via social media than through traditional methods such as newspapers, online job boards and recruitment firms. This is highest in the APAC region (47 percent) compared with the Americas (26 percent) and EMEA (24 percent).
Complete findings are published in a new report, When Two Worlds Collide – The Rise of Social Media in the Workplace. For more information about the Kelly Global Workforce Index and key regional and generational findings, please visit the Kelly(R) Press Room