Software security company Clearswift has published has published a research report on the impact of social media and Web 2.0 on today’s workplace. The work identifies a new group of workers – dubbed “Generation Standby” – who never fully switch off from home or work, both taking their work home with them and bringing home to work.
Generation Standby have a pronounced interest in being able to conduct personal business in the office. At the same time, they are willing to work longer hours or taking shorter lunch breaks.. A sizeable fifth (21%) would turn down a job that didn’t allow them access social networking sites or personal emails during work hours. The trend to “home from work” is most pronounced among 25-34 year olds. Fifty-seven percent of this age group undertake personal tasks such as checking email or online shopping at work. Men are more likely than women to attend to personal affairs during work.
From the Clearswift press release:
- “79% respondents said over and above job role and pay, the most important things to them in a job included being trusted to manage their own time, and being trusted to use the internet as they wish.
- 62% of employees feel they should be able to access web / social networking content from their work computer for personal reasons (compared to 51% of managers) in order to complete ‘home-ing from work’ tasks.”
Said Hilary Backwell, Global HR Director of Clearswift, “Call it multi-tasking or life-splicing but increasingly, fuelled by advances in technology, employees are blurring the boundaries between home and work. 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.”