Teuila Fuatai

Teuila Fuatai is a reporter for the NZ Herald

One in five kiwis 'like' Facebook use at work

One in five New Zealanders sees no problem accessing social networking websites for personal use at work, according to a survey.

More than 3500 employees were asked whether they thought it was acceptable to use sites such as Facebook and Twitter in the workplace.

Generation Y respondents, aged between 19 and 30, were the most accepting with 23 per cent saying it was okay.

Participants in the next age bracket, 31-48 years, were almost on a par with their younger counterparts, with 22 per cent of respondents from the Generation X age group agreeing it was acceptable.

Results of those surveyed from the Baby Boomer generation found workers aged 49 to 66 to be the least accepting of social media sites in the workplace, with 15 per cent approving of their use.

The results are part of the Kelly Global Workforce Index, an annual survey of opinions about work. Almost 170,000 employees in 30 countries were interviewed.

A 22-year-old receptionist told the Herald she accessed her Facebook site every hour and said that most of her colleagues did the same.

The Auckland woman, who works at a city gym, added: "My work hasn't blocked it because it doesn't really affect our productivity at work.

"The bosses know - they just said that we need to do it discreetly."

Janet Lee, 42, country manager for online shopping service Shop New Zealand, said her company used social networking sites such as Facebook to market its products.

"We have a business [Facebook] account which all the workers can access. We use it to talk to customers and promote things."

Ms Lee said it did not bother her that staff were also able to access their personal Facebook accounts when at work.

"There's a mutual understanding that it's used appropriately.

"But it helps because they get their own friends to like our page and then we get more people [looking at our page]."

Findings also showed that despite increasing acceptance of social media use in New Zealand workplaces, Kiwis still approached the practice conservatively compared with other countries.

Almost half of those surveyed in the Asia Pacific region approve of personal use of social media sites in the workplace, which is far more than the overall approval rate of 21 per cent from New Zealand participants.

A large number of the New Zealanders said they were concerned at the impact of social media use on their productivity at work, with 43 per cent saying it had a negative impact.

GENERATION GAME

Respondents who think it is acceptable to use social networking sites in the workplace:

23 per cent of Generation Y (aged 19- 30)

22 per cent of Generation X (aged 31-48)

15 per cent of Baby Boomers (49-66)

Source: Kelly Global Workforce Index

- NZ Herald

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