Online social networks have become 'a way of life' for today's teenagers as majority of them consider the freedom to use websites Twitter, Facebook at work an essential criteria which could influence their future job decisions.

About 58 per cent of teenagers in the US said they would consider their ability to access social networks at work when considering a job offer from a potential employer, according to a survey conducted by consulting firm Deloitte.

Nearly nine in 10 teens surveyed use social networks every day, with 70 per cent saying they participate in social networking an hour or more daily.

“From an employer's perspective, it is clear that organisations need enhanced training and communication relative to social networking. This is particularly the case when more than half of the future talent pool feels so strongly about social networking, that their ability to access those sites at work would play into their decision to take a job,” said Deloitte Global Managing Partner Ainar D Aijala.

The outcome of survey comes amid many organizations implementing policies to limit the access to social networks during the workday, due to concerns about unethical usages, such as time theft, spreading rumours about coworkers or managers and leaking proprietary information, among other reasons.

The survey, which was conducted among 1,000 people at the age group of 12 to 17 in September found that 83 per cent people did not behave unethically while using the social networks, while many of them do not consider the reactions of present or future employers to their online record.

However, many teens are harnessing social networking platforms to promote social welfare causes with more than half of the teens surveyed had used social networking sites to help others.

“Teens who will soon be entering the workforce must understand the value of their 'personal brand,' that their online postings live in perpetuity, and also need ethical decision-making tools to help them understand the importance of behaving with integrity on- and off-line,” Aijala added.

Meanwhile, findings of another Ethics & Workplace Survey, conducted by Deloitte shows that adults also rarely consider what their bosses, colleagues or clients would think when they post comments, photos or videos online.

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