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Originally published August 10 2015

Social media killing work productivity; many millennials would quit their jobs if not allowed to waste time on the clock

by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Everywhere you look these days, people's heads are buried in their computers, tablets, and smartphones nearly around the clock, including at work. And a new investigation has found that the majority of millennials, or people between the ages of 18 and 34, are insistent upon having these electronic devices in their presence at all times, willing even to quit their jobs if their bosses were to tell them to stop checking Facebook and Instagram during work hours.

CBS Philly's "On Your Side" recently reported on a survey conducted by MobilIron that found that most millennials, some 60 percent, say they would simply stop working if their employers suddenly started cracking down on social media use while on the job. This phenomenon, writes On Your Side's Jim Donovan, reflects the fact that this younger generation grew up with such technology, and doesn't know what it's like to function without it.

He interviewed one young man by the name of Jonathan Perez, 25, who says he always keeps his smartphone handy, even at work. His work life spills over into his personal life, and vice versa, but he wouldn't have it any other way. And like many others within his age group, he values having his smartphone with him at all times more than keeping a job to pay the bills.

Commenting on this societal shift in priorities, MobilIron's Vice President of Strategy, Ojas Rege, told the media that employers need to take this into account with new hires who are increasingly chained to their electronic devices. If they want to maintain the best of the best in terms of employee quality, he says, they're going to have to figure out how to adapt.

"Any employer that is looking to recruit this next generation of work force is absolutely going to have to understand these trends and respond to them," Rege says. "Otherwise they are going to lose the best employees of the future."

If social media is here to stay, how will this affect the emerging workforce?

The problem of social media and personal electronics use on the job has only escalated since earlier surveys of a similar nature were conducted. SocialTimes reported back in 2013, for instance, that about 56 percent of millennials said they would refuse employment if an employer required that they not use social media during work hours.

Though members of this group are typically highly educated, optimistic, and in many cases highly driven to succeed - and they still want access to their personal lives via social media 24/7. This expectation represents a major shift from how the "Baby Boomer" generation viewed work - as a nine-to-five block of time during which one's personal life was mostly put on hold.

"I think there is a cultural shift needed to allow this technology to be ingrained into your workforce," maintains Alex Matjanex, a managing partner at AD 60, the firm where Perez currently works. "But how do you control that in a way that's going to drive productivity is the learning experience we are going through right now."

Part of the problem is that social media is how many millennials are now getting their jobs, as well as maintaining both their personal and work connections. The technology has already become so engrained into the everyday lives and lifestyles of millions of people that disconnecting from it, even for just a few hours every day, is no longer a perceivable option, even if it obstructs productivity.

"In its annual Wasting Time at Work Survey, reported that 89 percent of respondents admitted that they waste time at work each day," reports "A small percentage even admitted they waste at least half of an eight-hour workday on non-work-related tasks."


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