LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In a report entitled “Decoding Social Media at Work”, to be released on Tuesday Jan 25th at the HR Directors Business Summit in Birmingham, UK, strategic consultancy Decode busts many myths about young peoples’ social media workplace attitudes. The report pulls insights from research conducted in the UK, USA and Canada with more than 4500 15-34 year olds.
Overall, only 31% of 15-34 year olds believe companies should allow employees to use social media at work. “Most people think that the most digital generation ever will be clamouring to make work all about social media, but in reality Generation Y still wants to separate their personal space from their workplace”, says Decode CEO Robert Barnard.
Young women are especially reticent to allow employers into their social media lives. While only 26% of women agree companies should allow their employees to use social media at work, 36% of men agree. Only 27% of women are ok with employers finding them on social media sites, compared to 38% of men. Similarly, 38% of Gen Y does not think employers should look at their social media activity. Yet, while only 33% of Gen Y men are against this, 43% of Gen Y women are against it. These more cautious attitudes of Gen Y women when it comes to mixing personal and professional, makes them far more aligned to the younger end of their generation. High school students were the least likely to support social media use at work compared to other life stages.
Youth are uncomfortable using social media to find out about jobs, but might need to be more open. Generation Y is not open to employers using social media to recruit them. Only 33% are open to potential employers seeking them out through social media. Students within Generation Y are even less open. “With 20% of youth unemployed in the UK, Generation Y might want to use their social media skills to more advantage in getting a job”, says Robert Barnard.
Social media is here to stay, but how it will integrate into the workplace is far from concluded. Generation Y (15- 30 year olds) are by far the most active social media users but they are quite polarised when it comes to using social media to get a job and using it on the job.
Details on the study:
Conducted August/September 2010
Total sample size across three countries (UK, USA, Canada): 4612 15-34 year old social media users
Method: web based survey using panel respondents