48 per cent of Australians believe social media has a negative impact on workplace productivity

Social media penetrating the Australian workplace but impact on productivity is causing unease according to the latest Findings from Kelly Global Workforce Index™ 

July 12, 2012

48 per cent of Australians say social media has a negative impact on workplace productivity according to the latest survey results from global workforce solutions leader, Kelly Services.

While social media is gaining a firm foothold in Australia’s workplaces, with 18 per cent of employees approving of the personal use of social media while at work, others are seeing it as disruptive to workplace harmony.

48 per cent say social media has a negative impact on workplace productivity, and 59 per cent say that mixing personal and professional connections through social media can cause problems in the workplace.

Karen Colfer, managing director, Kelly Services Australia, said, “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.

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

With the talent war for highly-skilled workers in full swing, it’s important to note that significantly more employees with professional and technical skill sets feel it is acceptable to use social media for personal use when at work (23 per cent) compared to those with non-qualified skill sets (12 per cent).

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.

Results of the survey in Australia also show:

  • among the main workforce generations, 18 per cent of Gen Y (aged 19-30) believe it is acceptable to use social media for personal use while at work, compared with 17 per cent of Gen X (aged 31-48) and 11 per cent of Baby Boomers (aged 49-66)
  • 21 per cent feel it is acceptable to share opinions about work with friends and colleagues on social media
  • just 6 per cent of employees have been told to stop using social media at work
  • 21 per cent of respondents believe it is important for their employer organisation to have a social media presence
  • 29 per cent 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.

 
Colfer said, “The reality is that the spread of social media in the workplace is occurring faster than any rules designed to manage it. While many 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.”

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 News Room.

About the Kelly Global Workforce Index
The Kelly Global Workforce Index is an annual survey revealing opinions about work and the workplace from a generational viewpoint. Launched in late 2011, approximately 170,000 people from the Americas, APAC and EMEA participated in the survey.  Results will be published throughout 2012 on a variety of topics such as employee retention, social media and the highly virtual workplace. 


Media contact
Michelle Taylor
Recognition PR
02 9252 2266
mct@recognition.com.au