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Survey uncovers perceptions of social media in the workplace

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According to the latest findings from Kelly Services , social media in the workplace is ubiquitous, however its effect on workplace productivity is perceived as negative.

The survey found that while 18 per cent of employers allow their employees to use social media at work for personal purposes, others
believe it disrupts workplace harmony.

Furthermore, it found that 28 per cent of people believe social media has a negative impact on workplace productivity, while 59 per cent are of the view that problems in the workplace can arise when personal and professional connections are combined via social media.

“For many workers, social media has become almost an entitlement. It’s something that is a fundamental part of their communications armoury, and they’re using it to make career decisions and to search for jobs,” said Karen Colfer, managing director, Kelly Services Australia.

“There is nervousness about the pitfalls if the personal and professional worlds of social media are allowed to intermingle,” she continues.

Interestingly, social media use is more common amongst employees with professional and technical skill sets, with 23 per cent of the view that it is acceptable to use social media for personal use at work.

On the other hand, only 12 per cent of employees who are not involved in work that requires specific qualifications or skill sets comply with this view.

The findings are part of the latest survey results from the Kelly Global Workforce Index (KGWI), an annual survey conducted by Kelly Services.

Nearly 170,000 people in 30 countries participated in the survey, including more than 1,400 in Australia.

The survey uncovered the following information about the Australian workforce:

  • In terms of social media for personal use at work, 18 per cent of Gen Y believe it is acceptable, compared with 17 per cent of Gen X and 11 per cent of Baby Boomers.
  • Of those surveyed, 21 per cent feel it is acceptable to share opinions about work with friends and colleagues on social media.
  • A mere 6 per cent of employees have been told to stop using social media at work.
  • In terms of employer organisations having a presence in social media, 21 per cent of those surveyed believe this is important.
  • When searching for new jobs, 29 per cent utilise social media in contrast to newspapers, recruitment agencies and so forth.
Complete findings are published in a new report, When Two Worlds Collide – The Rise of Social Media in the Workplace.

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