JobsCentral Survey: Younger workers more likely to connect to bosses on social networking sites

By Juliet Soh

To connect or not to connect? That is a question that would not have existed ten years ago. But with the increasing popularity of social networking platforms, employees now are likely to have to make a conscious decision about whether to include their bosses in their virtual social circle.

According to a survey conducted by Singapore’s leading online job portal, JobsCentral, many are still reluctant to take the plunge. While 81.1% of the respondents said they have at least one social networking profile, two in three (66.9%) said that their bosses are not among their list of friends on any of the social media they use.

A total of 2,281 respondents took this survey, and the respondents consisted of employed individuals from all levels of occupation and income groups. This survey has an error margin of 2.05%, at 95% confidence level.

However, the survey also found out that the likelihood of adding bosses as social networking friends is higher if the employee is of a younger age group. 36.5% of employees below the age of 30 said that they are friends with their bosses on social networking sites, as compared to 31.5% of those aged between 31 and 40, and 25% of those aged between 41 and 50.

“Younger workers seem more likely to blur the line between work and personal relationships and have fewer qualms about adding their bosses to their Facebook and Twitter accounts. However, they need to consider if they really want their bosses to make judgements about them that may negatively impact their career. There have been cases of employee termination due to inappropriate content on their social network profiles,” says Michelle Lim, COO of JobsCentral Group.

“As a general rule, be careful what you post online, because in addition to current managers being able to see what you have been up to in your personal life, recruiters routinely check out social media to gain a holistic view of a candidate,” Lim adds.

3 in 4 workers surf non-work-related websites during office hours
While most company policies have rules defining the usage of office computers, more than three-quarters (77.1%) of the respondents admitted to spending time on personal activities during work hours.

However, results show that 45.6% of the employees surveyed spend no more than an hour every day in the office on personal Internet use. 26.7% said they only use it for 1-3 hours; 3.3% said they use it for 3-5 hours, and 1.4% said they spend more than 5 hours in the office using the Internet for non-work activities.

“Employees have to be careful about using work time to do non-work related activities. It is often a violation of employment terms and could result in severe consequences especially if done excessively. Most managers are tolerant of their staff surfing non-work-related websites during office hours as long as it’s done minimally and work performance does not suffer,“ says Lim.

Interestingly, individuals with higher gross monthly salaries appear to spend less of their work time on the Internet for personal use. Nearly three in four (72.3%) of the respondents who earn more than $7000 per month professed that they spend little (less than one hour) to no time online surfing non-work-related sites. This is compared to 71.9% of those earning between $5000 and $7000, 69.5% of those who earn between $3000 and $5000 and 66.7% of those who earn less than $3000 per month, who admitted to it.

Few blog about work, colleagues and company
8.9% of the survey respondents reported blogging about their work, colleagues and company. This inclination is shared by employees from both the public and private sectors. In fact, the percentages of those who blog about work are identical for both public and private sector workers.

The JobsCentral Group, a CareerBuilder company, is the owner of JobsCentral.com.sg, one of Singapore's largest job and learning portals. Get a free career personality test and more career- and education-related articles at JobsCentral and JobsCentral Community. Alternatively, Like us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter for more career-centric content!

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