Less than 10% of New Zealanders are likely to criticise their workplace online, AVG Technologies’ latest Digital Diaries study reveals. This is lucky, considering the study also found that nearly one quarter of these 18-25 year olds are ‘Facebook friends’ with their boss. Digital Baggage, the sixth instalment of AVG’s Digital Diaries study, features responses from over four thousand 18-25 year olds to AVG’s questions on how they manage their social network profiles.
Of the 11 countries surveyed, New Zealanders had the highest percentage of young adults who know better than to post angry or critical comments about their workplace online, while Italians are the most likely.
AVG’s research also finds that two thirds of 18-25 year olds who are ‘Facebook friends’ with their colleagues do not restrict the content co-workers are able to access.
The survey highlights how this age group is likely to share personal content in an open forum that includes work colleagues, which could have long-term impact on their future career prospects. Specifically, 13 percent of respondents globally did admit to posting abusive content online about their boss or company after a bad day at work.
Tony Anscombe, AVG’s Senior Security Evangelist, said: “AVG’s latest research clearly shows young people today have a comfort with using online social networks that is leading to blurring between their professional and private lives. It seems obvious that posting abusive content about a boss or workplace is not very sensible, but it’s important to understand that not only could it damage a person’s existing career, it could also negatively impact on future opportunities too. Our research findings indicate that today’s 18- 25 year old digital natives need to be more aware of their ‘online brand’ as something employers and recruiters are increasingly investigating.”
Other key findings include:
· No social networks allowed: New Zealanders are also the least likely to access social networks banned at work on mobile devices. Less than a third of young New Zealanders do so, while nearly 60 percent of Australians do.
· Unrestricted profiles for co-workers: one third of New Zealand workers do not restrict their Facebook profile for work colleagues, but this is actually a lower percentage when compared to their counterparts in the US (59 percent); Italy (58 percent); Spain (54 percent); Germany (51 percent); France (50 percent); Australia (38 percent); Canada (45 percent); United Kingdom (34 percent); Czech Republic (30 percent); and Japan (27 per cent).
· Sub-editing social profiles: Only half young New Zealanders (48 percent) are, but young people in most of the other countries surveyed are much less likely to have done so -
· Unsuitable pictures: the Spanish (80 percent) are most likely to have inappropriate images posted online, compared with only a quarter of New Zealanders.
· Interview techniques: New Zealand employers also appear to be least likely to mention online activity, with only five percent of young people being asked about online activity in an interview, compared with 15 percent of Italians.