Social media has negative impact on workplace productivity: study

Social media has negative impact on workplace productivity: study

Shows 48 per cent of Australians uneasy with social media penetration in workplace

Fourty-eight per cent of Australians have indicated that social media has a negative impact on workplace productivity, according to the latest survey results from global workforce solution provider, Kelly Services.

Its annual Kelly Global Workforce Index polled 170,000 people from the US, Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa and found that 59 per cent of respondents said mixing personal and professional connections through social media can cause problems in the workplace.

While social media is gaining a firm foothold in Australian workplaces, only 18 per cent of employees approve of personal social media use while at work, seeing it as disruptive to workplace harmony.

“For many workers, social media has become almost an entitlement, but there is nervousness about the pitfalls if the personal and professional worlds of social media are allowed to intermingle,” Kelly Services Australia managing director, Karen Colfer, claimed.

The survey also indicated 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).

Other findings from the study include:

  • Gen Y topped the list in saying it is acceptable to use social media for personal use while at work (18 per cent), compared with 17 per cent of Gen X and 11 per cent of Baby Boomers.
  • Only 21 per cent felt it is acceptable to share opinions about work with friends and colleagues on social media
  • Six per cent of respondents have been told to stop using social media at work
  • However, 21 per cent believe it’s important for their employer organisation to have a social media presence

“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,” Colfer said.

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