Aussie Colleagues Connecting Out of Hours
24 November 2014 at 11:42 am
A majority of Australian workers are connecting both online and offline with their colleagues outside of work, according to a recent survey.
A nation-wide survey by jobs website OneShift found that 79 per cent of people thought it was appropriate to be friends with co-workers on social media sites like facebook and Instagram.
Another 63 per cent of respondents said this did not affect what they posted about or the photos they shared.
But connections with colleagues extends beyond social media, with 64 per cent of people saying that they socialise with their co-workers outside of work. In many instances, this affection was more than just platonic, with more than 40 per cent admitting to having dated a colleague.
Almost 80 per cent saying they wouldn’t feel uncomfortable if two of their colleagues were dating, but despite this, almost ten per cent kept a long relationship with a colleague secret.
Founder and CEO of OneShift, Gen George, said the strong relationships formed at work are an inevitable result of a new work culture that no longer recognises the separation of work life from private life, but that this should not be viewed negatively.
“We see it more with Gen Y workers, but in general we’re seeing a very obvious blending of professional and private life, colleagues and friends, the office and the home. Technology plays a big role in this,” George said.
“If someone is expected to respond to emails on their smartphone or the company’s social media channel at 10.30 at night, then the office has already invaded the home. It’s no surprise then that with those walls breaking down, we’re more comfortable socialising with colleagues outside of work, whether that’s online, at the local pub or cinema after work, or at the beach on the weekend.”
George said a move toward a more social workplace was something to be encouraged and a trend that is only going to become more obvious as employers move toward more flexible hours.
“Work life balance is key, but that concept is taking on a new meaning today. It’s all part of the attitude of working to live, rather than living to work. You should love what you do, and enjoy the people you work with. Rather than aiming for that distinct separation of the two, we should be looking at how work fits into the rest of your life.
“Your job should be challenging, but ideally it should enrich your life, not detract from it. The friendships you have with your colleagues are important not only to your own success, but to the success of the business and should be encouraged by employers.”