When Two Worlds Collide – The Rise of Social Media in the Workplace

More accept the personal use of social media in Singapore’s workplace, according to annual survey by Kelly Services®

But latest findings from Kelly Global Workforce Index™ also found that impact of social media use on productivity is causing unease

Singapore, 19 June 2012 – Social media is gaining a firm foothold in Singapore’s workplaces, with more than half of employees approving the personal use of social media while at work, but with others seeing it as disruptive to workplace harmony, according to the latest survey results from global workforce solutions leader, Kelly Services®.

Almost a third (31 percent) say social media has a negative impact on workplace productivity, and 52 percent say that mixing personal and professional connections through social media can cause problems in the workplace. Many, about 59 percent, also continue to hold the view that it is unacceptable to share opinions about work with friends and colleagues on social media.

“The use of social media is increasingly viewed as almost an entitlement for many employees in Singapore, especially with an internet-savvy workforce. Over the years, the use of internet and thereafter social media has become a fundamental part of their communications armoury. Hence many would hold the view that as long as they are responsible with their social media activities within the workplace, they should be given the freedom to do so,” said Mr Dhirendra Shantilal, Senior Vice President, APAC of Kelly Services. “However, there still is a sense of 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 is important to note that significantly more employees with Professional/ Technical skill sets feel that it is acceptable to use social media for personal use when at work (54 percent) compared to those with non-P/ T skill sets (49 percent).

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 5,000 in Singapore.

Results of the survey in Singapore show:

Among the main workforce generations, 58 percent of Gen Y (aged 19-30) believe it is acceptable to use social media for personal use while at work, compared with 50 percent of Gen X (aged 31-48) and 35 percent of Baby Boomers (aged 49-66).

Only 12 percent of employees have been told to stop using social media at work.

33 percent of respondents felt that their employers have a right to view their social networking pages, with 36 percent of Gen Y respondents holding this view.

Almost half (47 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,” Mr Shantilal said. “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. The sooner they are able to harness the use of social media in the benefit of their organisations, the better it would be.”