Employees Admit Social Media Is A Waste Of Their Time [Infographic]

social media workplace

A growing number of people are tweeting and using Facebook from the office, but that doesn't mean they think it's a good use of their time. Or company resources.

In fact, according to a new survey, a majority of American workers (51 percent) think using social media at work hurts productivity. The survey of nearly 23,000 workers, by staffing company Kelly Services, shows that even more of them -- 57 percent -- believe that social media can cause problems in the workplace when workers mix personal and professional connections.

Of course, social media use among some workers is more accepted than others. The survey showed a greater percentage of those employed in professional and technical fields (15 percent) felt it was acceptable to use social media for personal reasons while at work, compared to just 10 percent of those outside those professions.

Younger workers, age 19-30, are slightly more accepting of personal social media use on the job than their baby boomer counterparts (14 percent versus 10 percent). Worldwide, 30 percent of workers in Kelly's global survey said it was acceptable to use social media for personal use while at work, suggesting that American workers are slower in accepting the phenomenon.

Other notable results from Kelly's U.S. survey suggest:

  • People are becoming casual about sharing online their opinions about colleagues and employers, even though workers have been fired for doing so. About 1 in 7 (14 percent) in the survey said it was acceptable to share opinions about work with friends and colleagues on social media.
  • Employees are disregarding employers' policies around social media, or companies aren't enforcing them. Just 2 percent of employees in Kelly's survey said that they have been told to stop using social media at work, but according to another recent survey, 42 percent of employers prohibit workers from using social media altogether.
  • Job seekers who aren't conversant in social media could soon be at a disadvantage. Nearly 1 in 4 workers (24 percent) say they are more inclined to search for jobs via social media rather than through traditional methods such as newspapers, online job boards or recruitment firms.

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