'Generation Standby' expect access to webmail and social networking, while half of workplaces have had a security incident as a result of internet use

One in five people would turn down a job offer that restricts social media access at work.

In a survey of a social group named 'Generation Standby‘ by Clearswift in reference to those who never seem to fully switch off from work or home, 57 per cent of 25 – 34-year-olds would complete personal tasks such as checking social networks, email and online shopping at work.

Research found that men are more likely to log into social networking or personal email sites than women, while 34 per cent of men would shop online in comparison to 20 per cent of women.

The boundaries between work and home lives are also blurring, with 48 per cent of office workers and 71 per cent of managers saying that tasks overlap at least twice a week, with 57 per cent of people using a home laptop for work and 37 per cent using a smartphone to provide an ‘always on' link to their office lives.

Of those companies that allow social networking and webmail access, 47 per cent of workplaces have had at least one security incident as a result of internet usage, while 44 per cent of employees are happy to discuss work-related issues on social networking sites. A quarter have sent content via email or social networking sites that they wish they had not, leaving the door open for leaks of potentially sensitive or damaging information.

Hilary Backwell, global HR director at Clearswift, said: “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.”

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