Survey Results: Three-in-four workers in Singapore use internet for non-work related activities during work hours

By Jonathan Tay

With the ease of connecting to the internet and the abundance of social networking sites available these days, it comes as little surprise that most employers are concerned about what their employees are really up to in cyberspace. The following findings from JobsCentral’s online survey may perhaps provide some insights into the often elusive internet habits of the Singapore employees.

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In the survey, which gathered the opinions of over 2,000 respondents, three quarter of employees (77.1%) admitted to spending at least some time using the internet for non-work related activities. But employers – don’t set out drafting drastic policies on tightening the company’s internet usage just yet. Results from the survey also did reveal that, nearly half of the employees surveyed (45.6%) only spent a little less than an hour each work day doing non-work related activities online. If combined with the 22.9 percent of respondents who do not misuse the internet in the office at all, nearly 70 percent (68.5%) spend little or no time at all on non-work related activities online.

• Another 30 percent of employees said they spend between 1 to 5 hours in the office on non-work related online activities whereas;
• Only a meager 1.4 percent admitted that they spend more than 5 hours doing non-work related activities online

Frugal internet usage habits observed by employee throughout the three major industries
Survey results found that, regardless of which industries they work in, most employees spend little or no time at all on non-work related activities online. Of them, the industries with the highest percentage of workers who spend little or no time on other online activities include:
• Manufacturing industry (69.7%)
• Service industry (68.2%) and;
• Construction industry (67.7%)

High earners spend less time on the internet for non-work related activities
Individuals with higher gross monthly salaries appear to spend less of their work hours on online activities not related to work. Nearly three in four (72.3%) of the respondents who make a monthly income of $7,000 and above professed that they spend little or no time online doing non-work related stuffs. This is opposed to the smaller percentage of 66.7% received by respondents earning less than $3,000 a month.

Two-thirds do not add boss as friends on social networking sites
Despite the fact that more than 80 percent (81.1%) of the respondents acknowledge to having at least one social network profile, two in three (66.9) have indicated that their employers are not amongst their list of friends on these platforms.

Tendency of adding boss on social networking sites declines with age
While the mass majority rejects the notion of adding their bosses on social networking sites, the tendency of such behavior is especially apparent amongst respondents of higher age groups. The mindset of not “befriending” their employers on social networking sites is shared by:
• 80 percent in the age group above 50 years old
• 75 percent between 41 to 50 years of age
• 68.5 percent between 31 to 40 years of age
• 63.5 percent in the age group of 30 years old and below

Exceptionally high majority do not blog about work
More than ninety percent (91.1%) of the respondents gave a negative response when asked if they blog about their work, colleagues and company. This inclination is shared by employees from both, Public and Private sectors.

91.1 percent of respondents from the government sector declared that they do not blog about their work on their personal blog. Coincidentally, an identical percentage (91.1%) of respondents from the private sector shared a similar opinion.

Survey Methodology

The survey was conducted online over a period of four weeks, from 19 August to 16 September 2011, and targeted Singapore residents aged between 16 and 65 years. Invitations to take part in the survey were broadcasted via e-mailers and online banners. The survey was also publicized via social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter.

A total of 2,281 respondents took part in the survey. The respondents consist of employed individuals coming from all levels of occupation, work industries and sectors of work.

Using a confidence level of 95% and sample size of 2,281, the results have a sampling error of +/- 2.05%. This means that for every 100 times the exact survey is conducted, the results obtained are conformable to a margin of error of 2.05%, 95% of the time. This also means that the results are highly significant. Sampling error for data from sub-samples varies.

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