Social media penetrating the Chinese workplace

Social media penetrating the Chinese workplace but impact on productivity is causing unease, according to annual survey by Kelly Services®

Latest Findings from Kelly Global Workforce Index™

Social media is gaining a firm foothold in China’s workplaces, with more than three-quarters of employees approving of the personal use of social media while at work, but with others seeing it as disruptive to workplace harmony, according to the latest survey results from global workforce solutions leader, Kelly Services®.

More than a quarter (29 percent) say that mixing personal and professional connections through social media can cause problems in the workplace, and 18 percent say social media has a negative impact on workplace productivity.

“For many workers, social media has become almost an entitlement. It’s something that is a fundamental part of their communications armoury, and they’re using it to make career decisions and to search for jobs,” said Mark Hall, General Manager, Professional & Technical operations, Kelly Services China. “Alongside the positives, there is nervousness about the pitfalls if the personal and professional worlds of social media are allowed to intermingle.”

The findings are part of the latest survey results from the Kelly Global Workforce Index (KGWI), an annual survey conducted by Kelly Services. Nearly 170,000 people in 30 countries participated in the survey, including almost 5,000 in China.

Results of the survey in China also show:

  • Among the main workforce generations, 83 percent of Gen Y (aged 19-30) believe it is acceptable to use social media for personal use while at work, compared with 78 percent of Gen X (aged 31-48) and 64 percent of Baby Boomers (aged 49-66).
  • More than half (58 percent) feel it is acceptable to share opinions about work with friends and colleagues on social media.
  • Almost a quarter (22 percent) have been told to stop using social media at work.
  • 38 percent of respondents are more inclined to search for jobs via social media rather than through traditional methods such as newspapers, online job boards and recruitment firms.

“The reality is that the spread of social media in the workplace is occurring faster than any rules designed to manage it,” Mark said. “While many employees are quick to see the benefits, employers and managers are still grappling with a host of complex issues relating to privacy, monitoring, and access to sensitive business information.”

Complete findings are published in a new report, When Two Worlds Collide – The Rise of Social Media in the Workplace.  For more information about the Kelly Global Workforce Index and key regional and generational findings, please visit the Kelly® Press Room or  

Business or Pleasure - Social Media in the Workplace