Will Work For Social Net Access

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.

6 comments about "Will Work For Social Net Access ".
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  1. Frank Watson from Kangamurra Media, May 20, 2010 at 7:52 p.m.

    Those numbers seem so wrong - especially the shopping percentages... women just figure the answer will get them in trouble and answer no

  2. Nico Prinsloo from, May 21, 2010 at 2:02 a.m.

    Why is it "shocking"?

  3. Steve Sarner from Tagged, May 21, 2010 at 9:45 a.m.

    What is shocking is that the number is not higher - I'd think it would be 50% or greater. Not being able to have access to personal email or social networks would be the equivalent of not allowing one to have their cell phone.

  4. Adrienne Sheares from Passion Redefined, May 21, 2010 at 6:26 p.m.

    I can see both sides to this argument. While working somewhere my time-management skills are trusted and valued is important, however, businesses are about making money. Who wouldn't want to work in a place with the freedom to check their Facebook? I know it's a guilty pleasure, one that I have personally enjoyed, but to turn down a job because of it, I'd do that only if it was a backup job and not one I truly wanted.

    I honestly feel not taking a job because of restricted access to social media shows evidence of an apathetic workforce. I know I have a few disgruntle friends who don't have access to g-chat, Facebook or Twitter but they did not reject a job for that reason. In reality, it's a recession. Clearly people who turn down jobs because they can't "poke" aren't hungry for that job, have a better offer on the table, or have someone supporting them.

    Keeping this in mind, perhaps organizations will have rules that reflect their direct competitors to avoid losing talent.

  5. Kelly Monroe from Brief Attention Span, May 25, 2010 at 11:51 a.m.

    As an IT consultant I am fully aware that IT management is struggling with whether social media is productive or obstructive for companies and their employees. Software is being developed and policy and restrictions are being decided everyday by IT managers. The security of company networks are at stake but the potential for innovation using social media is a large enough carrot for the discussion of how to properly utilize the medium continues. Palo Alto networks came up with an webinar,, that should be interesting exploring the issues surrounding social media in the workplace. It is important to not only understand the immediate benefits of doing business how one lives, but the threat it presents to a company's greater ROI and productivity when it comes to the server's safety and security.

  6. Kelly Monroe from Brief Attention Span, June 3, 2010 at 2:33 p.m.

    to help understand what I was talking about last week Palo Alto also has an excellent white paper speaking about the topic here , “To Block or Not. Is that the question?” here: It has lots of insightful and useful information about identifying and controlling Enterprise 2.0 apps (Facebook, Twitter, Skype, AIM, etc.)

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