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Millennials More Likely To Divulge Personal Details When Speaking With Colleagues At Work Compared To Baby Boomers

July 10, 2014

New LinkedIn Relationships @Work Study Reveals Vast Differences Between Generations in the Office

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., July 10, 2014 -- LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) –There are startling differences when it comes to generational views on workplace relations, according to a new study released today by LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network on the Internet. The ‘Relationships @Work’ study sheds new light on a range of workplace behaviors, from sacrificing friendships and climbing the career ladder, to overall work performance. Despite a significant contrast emerging among millennials and baby boomers,* the importance of relationships in the workplace remains clear across the board—nearly half (46 percent) of all professionals believe that friendships with colleagues make them happier at work.

“Workplace relationships are ever-changing and an important factor in shaping both office dynamics and individual job development,” said Nicole Williams, LinkedIn career expert. “This means that creating an office culture that resonates across generations, roles and personalities is a critical factor in building a successful working environment. LinkedIn provides the platform to help grow and maintain relationships and ultimately drive career success.”

Getting Ahead @Work

While happiness is important to professionals, they also value competition and the desire to climb the corporate ladder. However, there is a generational divide when it comes to the choices professionals are willing to make to get ahead in the workplace.

  • Nearly one in five (18 percent) professionals report that friendships with colleagues affect their work performance by making them more competitive in their careers.
  • Sixty-eight percent of millennials would sacrifice a friendship with a colleague for a promotion, compared to 62 percent of baby boomers who would never consider it.

Friendships @Work

Happiness, motivation and productivity are hot topics among professionals worldwide and there is a direct correlation between these virtues and having friends at work, according to the LinkedIn Relationships @Work study.

  • Millennials – more than any other age group – report that friendships in the workplace impact them in a positive way, making them feel happy (57 percent), motivated (50 percent) and productive (39 percent), while nearly half (45 percent) of workers ages 55-65, say that friendships with colleagues have no bearing on their work performance.
  • Three out of five millennial workers report that socializing in-person with coworkers makes their working environment better, compared to only two out of five baby boomers.
  • Nearly one out of three millennials believe that socializing with colleagues in-person will help them advance their career.

Communication @Work

The survey shows that younger workers are more comfortable discussing personal issues when speaking with colleagues in the office.

  • Nearly half of all millennials (49 percent) are more likely to discuss salary with coworkers at work, compared to less than one third of baby boomers (31 percent).
  • The majority (53 percent) of millennials are more open to sharing relationship advice with coworkers in the office, compared to less than one fourth (23 percent) of baby boomers.

Relationships @Work: Worldwide

A global comparison of the 14 countries surveyed finds that views and values placed on relationships with colleagues vary widely from country to country.

  • Indonesia has the highest number (51 percent) of professionals who feel their closest colleagues understand them better than their friends, compared to only 9 percent of all professionals in the United Kingdom who feel this same level of colleague camaraderie.
  • In India, one third of professionals would even go as far as to say that their closest colleagues understand them better than their partners.
  • New LinkedIn data also reveals that Switzerland has the largest number of professionals who are connected to their colleagues on LinkedIn.
  • Overall, countries in Europe have the greatest inter-office connectivity on LinkedIn, far surpassing countries, such as the United States and the United Kingdom.

The value of relationships at work is clear across ages, cultures and levels. LinkedIn encourages all professionals to strengthen their relationships with colleagues by connecting, sharing content, endorsing and joining relevant industry groups on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is encouraging professionals worldwide to join the conversation by using #workbff to share your “selfies” with colleagues on LinkedIn, with the new mobile photo sharing functionality on the LinkedIn app.

Visit http://blog.linkedin.com/2014/07/08/work-bffs/ to learn more about the LinkedIn Relationships @Work global study.

*Millennials are defined as respondents ages 18-24 and baby boomers as ages 55-65.

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About ‘Relationships @Work’ Study by LinkedIn and Censuswide

In April 2014 LinkedIn partnered with CensusWide to survey more than 11,500 full-time professionals around the world. Respondents between the ages of 18-65 were surveyed in 14 countries including the United States, Sweden, India, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Spain, the Netherlands, Malaysia, Italy, Indonesia, Brazil and the United Kingdom, to better understand how full-time working professionals view relationships at work.

About LinkedIn

Founded in 2003, LinkedIn connects the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful. With more than 300 million members worldwide, including executives from every Fortune 500 company, LinkedIn is the world's largest professional network on the Internet. The company has a diversified business model with revenue coming from Talent Solutions, Marketing Solutions, and Premium Subscriptions products. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, LinkedIn has offices across the globe.

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Founded in 2003, LinkedIn connects the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful. With over 300 million members worldwide, including executives from every Fortune 500 company, LinkedIn is the world's largest professional network on the Internet. The company has a diversified business model with revenue coming from Talent Solutions, Marketing Solutions and Premium Subscriptions products. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, LinkedIn has offices across the globe.