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Work issues hijack social networks

By Shi Jing in Shanghai (China Daily) Updated: 2014-01-13 10:25

Constant requests from the boss by e-mail and, more often nowadays, WeChat message, have become a major reason for employees to quit their jobs, in addition to the common reason of seeking better pay.

According to a recent survey conducted by the world's second-largest recruitment and human resources service provider, Randstad, more than one-third of the 400-plus polled professionals working in Shanghai have quit jobs because of too heavy a workload.

Due to the proliferation of the Internet, smartphones and social network services such as WeChat respondents said they devote half of their work time to dealing with information via those channels.

More than 80 percent of those polled said they take phone calls from work or receive and respond to work-related e-mail outside their working hours.

About 20 percent said their employers want them to be on call 24 hours a day.

Luo Guangyue, a senior executive at a Shanghai-based public relations company, said she is bombarded with messages and phone calls every day, exhausting her and making her think about leaving her company.

"I feel very stressed and cannot disconnect. I cannot take a break even during my annual leave, for customers or the director can reach me via WeChat or whatever instant messenger application I use. Most of my time is now devoted to work, but the return is not in proportion," she said.

According to Simon Lance, regional director of the human resource company Hays China, a positive social media presence is of huge value in career success.

"Without a strong online presence, it's much harder to promote yourself, connect with peers or be an active voice in your industry. You can miss out on important news, networking opportunities, maybe even your ideal job," Lance said.

When most employers make their New Year budget and plans, the biggest challenge they will confront for 2014 is to retain their staff, reports from leading human resources companies state.

According to the 2013/2014 Randstad World of Work Report released on the first day of this year, about 62 percent of the 1,200 employees polled said they would leave their current job within 12 months.

The traditional Chinese development mode is very likely to be replaced by other modes, especially at a time when a large number of multinational companies are relocating their research and development centers to China due to a lack of skilled talent in their home countries.

Recruitment consultancy firm Michael Page expects staff turnover in the next 12 months to reach 45 percent.

About 70 percent of employers predicted their sales staff will leave the company within the year.

Meanwhile, 69 percent of the polled directors of technology departments and 64 percent from marketing departments are worried about staff turnover in 2014, Michael Page reported.

The Hudson Report released on Tuesday showed similar results.

About 73 percent of the 1,000 employees surveyed said they will quit their jobs this year, as they are dissatisfied with their managers, their pay or have an unclear career path. Among those, 54 percent said they will leave in the next six months.

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