Most employees value trust, and the permission to use the Internet at work whenever they please, over compensation, according to a new report that examines how social media and the web are impacting the workplace.
The report coins the term ‘Generation Standby,’ which refers to workers who never seem to fully switch off from work or home. “Generation Standby are so attuned to this way of working that even in these economically challenging times, one fifth (21 per cent) would turn down a job that did not allow them to access social networking sites or personal email during work time,” Clearswift officials said in a release on the report.
The characteristic of this group is that they are regularly multi-tasking from work due to increased pressure to work longer hours, and regularly carrying out social and private tasks at work. The trend is most pronounced amongst 25-to-34 year olds, with 57 perc ent undertaking personal tasks such as checking social networks, e-mail, and shopping online at work. Although 66 per cent of all employees say they make up the time they spend using the Internet for personal reasons by working later or through lunch.
“Call it multi-tasking or life-splicing but increasingly, fuelled by advances in technology, employees are blurring the boundaries between home and work,” said Hilary Backwell, Clearswift’s global HR director. “What this report has shown is that ‘Generation Standby’ employees are now enjoying, and expecting, greater levels of flexibility and mobility than ever before–but this cultural shift raises new questions about trust in the workplace, the use of new technologies, the balance of power in the employer vs. employee relationship and levels of control that businesses now have over people and content.”