Younger staff more likely to add bosses on social networks

Most Singaporean employees don't include bosses as friends on social media, but chances of adding supervisors to networks higher with younger workers, survey finds.
Written by Jamie Yap, Contributor

SINGAPORE--While two in three employees in the country say they do not include their bosses in their friends list on any social media, the likelihood of doing so is higher when the employee is younger, according to results from a jobs survey.

Conducted by Singapore jobs portal, JobsCentral, the study found that 36.5 percent of workers below the age of 30 were friends with their bosses on social networking sites, compared to 31.5 percent for those aged between 31 and 40, and 25 percent aged between 41 and 50 years old. The online survey was conducted between August and September last year and polled 2,281 respondents from all income levels.

Younger workers were more likely to "blur the line between work and personal relationships", Michelle Lim, COO of JobsCentral, said in a statement Thursday.

Noting that younger generations had "fewer qualms" about adding their bosses to social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, Lim warned that these young worker had to consider whether they "really want their bosses to make judgments about them" that could negatively impact their career.

Overall, the survey found that 81.1 percent of respondents had at least one social network profile, and 66. 9 percent--or 2 in 3--did not add their bosses to any social media they used.

In addition, most employees said they did not post content or blog about their work, colleagues or company online, with only 8.9 percent of respondents saying they did.

Non-work online activities during office hours
However, the survey discovered that more than three-quarters, or 77.1 percent, of respondents admitted to spending time on personal activities online during working hours.

Some 45.6 percent of respondents spent an hour daily in the office on personal Web use, compared to 26.7 percent who said they used 1 to 3 hours on similar activities. Only 1.4 percent said they spent more than 5 hours, while 3.3 percent said they took 3 to 5 hours.

The survey also noted that the higher the monthly salary of respondents, the lower the likelihood of them spending time on personal Web surfing. Nearly 3 in 4, or 72.3 percent, of respondents who earned more than S$7,000 (US$5,535) spent less than an hour. For those with monthly paychecks of between US$5,000 (US$3,954) and US$7,000, the figure was 71.9 percent. It dropped to 69.5 percent for earners between US$3,000 (US$2,372) and US$5,000, and 66.7 percent for those with less than US$3,000 monthly salaries.

Lim pointed out that employees should be careful about using office hours to do non-work activities, as this often was deemed a violation of employment terms and could result in severe consequences especially if done excessively.

Most managers, she said, were "tolerant" of staff surfing the Web for non-work purposes during office hours as long as it was done minimally and work performance did not suffer.

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