Gen Y Wants to Keep Work and Facebook Separate

photo of facebook screenshot pictures

According to a report from Business Wire, researchers have supposedly discovered that Generation Y workers (defined as ages 18-34)  don’t think they should be free to tweet on the job.

The study finds that only 31% of “youth” workers (26% of women and 36% of men) believe they should be allowed to access and use social media while at work, while 38% believe that their work should not be able to view their social media activity. The 4500 respondents hail from the UK, Canada and …

… the US, though whether the gender lines were even is unknown.

From this information, the researchers have drawn the following conclusion:

“Most people think that the most digital generation ever will be clamouring to make work all about social media, but in reality Generation Y still wants to separate their personal space from their workplace”, says Decode CEO Robert Barnard.

Is that what the report is suggesting, though?

Here’s the thing: if someone said to me, “Hey, Sarah, do you think you should be able to text all day long at work?” or “Do you think that Facebooking will lead to good things for your productivity and your company as a whole?” of course I’m going to say no. But will I actually want to give up those social media outlets while on the job if my work currently allows it? Again, probably not.

These people aren’t necessarily saying that they want to keep Twitter and work separate, but are rather being honest about the fact that surfing on the job probably isn’t all that beneficial to their employers. And who could really disagree? Apart from, you know, the 31% of respondents who were probably just being honest about their own on-the-job activities.

And really, unless you’re on Twitter and Facebook promoting the company all day, how would accessing social media help your job or your employers? We’ve discussed the issues with Facebook before – nude photo scandals, domestic violence scandals and we’ve discussed how much teachers should or shouldn’t be sharing online when a whole audience of their students could be listening. Plus, anyone who’s texted or Twittered or Facebooked on the job will probably admit that they’ve never been less productive. In fact, I’ve seen plenty of reports which suggest that when you take a break from your work to engage in an online game or an e-mail or a quick chat with a friend, it takes a long time to get back into the rhythm of whatever it was you were doing before. And why is this even being made a gender issue based on a small difference in percentages? It doesn’t seem as though the researchers have found any way to explain the difference in gender responses, but for some reason the article writer has turned this into some kind of female issue.

But what’s your take? Could social media be used — and not abused — by workers? Have you been caught texting on the job?

You Might Also Like ...

11 thoughts on “Gen Y Wants to Keep Work and Facebook Separate

  1. I don’t believe you should do social networking stuff while at work, on your break I don’t care but otherwise your screwing your employer out of paid time.
    I got a job today, can you say yay Copa!

  2. I think it’s inappropriate to spend work time on not work. But I think it’s not hurting anyone to do what you want on breaks, and I think it’s unfortunate when companies ban sites for that reason.
    That said, I’ve never been paid to work at a computer, so it’s all theoretical to me.

  3. I think it depends on what your job is. At my job as a cashier at a little local store, I bring my laptop to play music on and thereby also use my personal laptop for facebook. There’s a lot of down time and huge lulls in customers, with little else to do (especially if I’ve already swept the store and straightened out the hangers). I’ll always minimize my browser window when someone comes in, though, because it just seems rude to be openly on facebook when there’s a customer in the store. I would also not use the store’s laptop for facebook use, because that’s a misuse of property that’s not mine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>