Two thirds (66 percent) of New Zealand employees believe it is unacceptable to use social media for personal activity in the workplace, according to the latest survey results from global workforce solutions leader, Kelly Services.
Social media is becoming more prevalent in New Zealand's workplaces, with more than one-in-five (21 percent) employees believing it is acceptable to use social media for personal use while at work. Approval of its use, however, is much lower in New Zealand than across the wider Asia Pacific region, where almost half (48 percent) of employees surveyed feel it is acceptable.
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 3,500 in New Zealand.
Local employees are also uneasy about the wider impacts of the use of social media, with 53 percent saying that mixing personal and professional connections through social media can cause problems in the workplace. New Zealand employees are also concerned about its impact on efficiency; with 43 percent of saying the use of social media at work has a negative impact on productivity.
"For a segment of the working population, personal use of social media has become almost an expectation," said Kelly managing director Debbie Grenfell.
"It is an important part of their personal and professional networking - and the lines between the two are becoming increasingly blurred."
"However, while social media can be a valuable tool - particularly in terms of marketing, networking and career development, the majority of employees are concerned that its use in the workplace can have a negative impact on productivity."
Notably, more employees in professional or technical roles feel it is acceptable to use social media for personal use when at work (28 percent) compared to those outside those sectors (17 percent).
Results of the survey in New Zealand show:
Among the main workforce generations, 23 percent of Gen Y (aged 19-30) believe it is acceptable to use social media for personal use while at work, compared with 22 percent of Gen X (aged 31-48) and 15 percent of Baby Boomers (aged 49-66).
One-in-five feel it is acceptable to share opinions about work with friends and colleagues on social media.
Just 5 percent of employees have been told to stop using social media at work.
Almost a third (32 percent) of respondents are more inclined to search for jobs via social media rather than through traditional methods such as newspapers, online job boards and recruitment firms.
"The reality is that the spread of social media in the workplace is occurring faster than any rules designed to manage it," Debbie Grenfell said. "While a number of employees are quick to see the benefits, employers and managers are still grappling with a host of complex issues relating to privacy, monitoring, and access to sensitive business information."
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