Social media moves into the workplace

Social media is still considered to be a personal matter in the workplace and most employees believe it should remain this way.

These findings are part of the latest survey results from the Kelly Global Workforce Index; an annual survey conducted by Kelly Services®, a leading international recruitment firm based in America.

The survey is managed in conjunction with leading recruitment firm, the Kelly Group to represent the opinions of over 90 000 people from across the globe about work and the workplace.

“Interestingly, many are using their networks to make career decisions with more and more employees using social media in their search for a job. With that said, most workers agree that their social media pages should remain in their private domain.

Furthermore, a large majority of employees believed it to be more professional to separate their private and working lives in the social media space. In support of this, only 1% of those surveyed indicated a social media presence as the most influential organisational attribute that would attract them to a position when job seeking,” explains Kelly Group chief executive, Gareth Tindall.

Status Update

“What we believe to be a positive trend is the fact that only 30% of those surveyed, feel it is acceptable to make use of social media while at work. With this in mind, it makes sense that younger employees, who fall within Generation Y (36%) and Generation X (30%), are in support of this practice. While older generations, the likes of Baby Boomers (19%) and the Silent Generation (11%) are in their minority when it comes to accepting the use of social media on company time,” adds Tindall.

Industry Tweet

Significantly, the Kelly Global Workforce Index indicates that workers with professional and technical skills are 30% more likely to accept the use of social media during working hours than those who work in admin, customer service, light industrial and office clerical (24%).

The marketing industry is the most accepting of social media with 40% acknowledging they condone the likes of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for personal use at work. Those who conduct their business in the transport and distribution, central and local government, as well as hospitality, travel and leisure sectors are on the other hand, the least accepting of this practice.

Like or Dislike

At the end of the day most employees, “like” it or not, are well aware that social media is best reserved for personal time. “What we found to be particularly interesting is the fact that while over two thirds of those surveyed believe it is wrong to log on to their personal profiles while on the clock, only 12% have been ordered to stop making use of social media at work. This is surely indicative of a workforce that is self-governing and conscientious which is unarguably a positive sign,” says Tindall.

News Feed

South African opinion, it seems, is keeping with this trend because some 65% disagree with the use of social media at work. Only 20% disagree that logging on while on company time impacts negatively on productivity and 59% expressed concern about mixing their personal and professional connections through social media. A further 77% believe it to be unacceptable to share opinions about work with friends and colleagues using social media.

Social Media Etiquette

In conclusion, it seems safe to say that a certain level of etiquette is expected by users who inhabit the social media space. Furthermore, the Kelly Global Workforce Index has confirmed that most employees across the globe display a sense of responsibility when it comes to the use of social media at work. This they achieve by being careful not to blur the lines between their online personal and work spaces.


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