A shocking 21% of young adults said they would turn down a job if it didn't allow them to access social network sites or their personal email during work hours, according to a new global survey of workplace attitudes and behaviors by Clearswift, a software security company. This is part of a larger phenomenon which is blurring the lines between individuals' private and professional lives, Clearswift found in its survey of 1,600 managers and employees in USA, UK, Germany and Australia, performed in January and February.
As noted, the trend is especially pronounced among younger adults. Among employees ages 25-34, Clearswift found that 57% do personal tasks like checking social networks, emailing, and online shopping while in the workplace. On the other hand, 66% of all employees (of all ages) say they stay later or work through lunch to make up for the time they spend on personal Internet use.
Interestingly, men are more likely than women to do personal tasks in the workplace. 48% of men said they log into social network sites at work compared to 36% of women; 69% of men check email, versus 54% of women; and 34% of men shop online, versus 20% of women.
Generally employees and managers seem to be on the same page about personal activity in the workplace, although there is some understandable discrepancy: 62% of employees think they should be able to log into social networks or access personal email from work, versus 51% of managers. Despite the difference, managers would do well to leave the subject alone for the sake of harmony in the workplace, as 79% of employees said their most important professional demand -- above role, title, and pay -- is being trusted to manage their won time and use the Internet as they see fit.