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Social Media Penetrating the U.S. Workplace but Impact on Productivity Is Causing Unease

Social Media Penetrating the U.S. Workplace but Impact on Productivity Is Causing Unease, According to Annual Survey by Kelly Services(R)

Latest Findings From Kelly Global Workforce Index(TM)

Social media is gaining a foothold in workplaces across the United States, with 12 percent of employees approving of the personal use of social media while at work, but with many more seeing it as disruptive to workplace harmony, according to the latest survey results from global workforce solutions leader Kelly Services&reg.

Almost half (51 percent) say social media has a negative impact on workplace productivity, and 57 percent say that mixing personal and professional connections through social media can cause problems in the workplace.

"For many workers, social media has become almost an entitlement. It's something that is a fundamental part of their communications armory, and they're using it to make career decisions and to search for jobs," said Steve Armstrong, senior vice president and general manager, Kelly Services.

With the talent war for highly-skilled workers in full swing, it's important to note that significantly more employees with Professional / Technical skill sets feel it is acceptable to use social media for personal use when at work (15 percent) compared to those with non-P/T skill sets (10 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 almost 23,000 in the U.S.

Results of the survey in the U.S. show:

Among the main workforce generations, 14 percent of Gen Y (aged 19-30) believe it is acceptable to use social media for personal use while at work, compared with 13 percent of Gen X (aged 31-48) and 10 percent of Baby Boomers (aged 49-66).

14 percent feel it is acceptable to share opinions about work with friends and colleagues on social media.

Just 2 percent of employees have been told to stop using social media at work.

Almost a quarter (24 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," Armstrong 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."

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