What would make you quit your job? Lack of insurance or other benefits? A lengthy and expensive commute? Limited advancement opportunities? No Facebook access?
A recent survey by IT services provider Telindus found that a whopping 39 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds would consider leaving their jobs if a Facebook ban was imposed, reports vnunet.com. Another 21 percent said they'd feel "annoyed" by such a ban. I assume Telindus did the survey before the latest dismal jobs report.
This is one of those items guaranteed to make me feel like a crone, because my initial reaction is "Grow up, punks." In fact, that's still my reaction, even after mulling it over.
Yeah, I get that folks want to use consumer tools to help them do their jobs better. I use some consumer tools at the office myself. But let's get real, Facebook offers little the average worker can use for work. As a recent Flowing Data study showed, the majority of Facebook applications fall into three categories: "just for fun," gaming and sports. Not to mention, Facebook can have a deleterious impact at the office. In addition to its time-wasting potential, heavy Facebook usage can slow network performance.
As I wrote in April, a third of respondents to a different survey (mostly younger folks) said they'd be willing to forgo a portion of their salary to work for an environmentally conscious company. At least an ostensible principle, the desire to do right by Mother Earth, is involved. Those who'd quit a job over Facebook just want to be able to do what they want, at any time.
Not surprisingly, the number of folks who'd consider quitting in response to a Facebook ban shrinks with age. Just 16 percent of 25-to-65-year-olds (an oddly large sample, if you ask me) would so so, and 13 percent would be annoyed by such a ban.
Still, the survey is worth considering, as it points up the frequent disconnect between the expectations of younger workers and their older employers. As I've wondered before, how far will employers be willing to go to recruit and retain young and talented workers, who may expect such perks as the freedom to use some applications of their choosing? In another decade, a lot more workplaces may look like Google.