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February 20, 2015updated 19 Aug 2016 4:02pm

Not addicted: IBM survey busts millennial myths

Study looks into digital working habits of different generations in the workplace.

By Alexander Sword

A new IBM survey claims that millennials are less digitally addicted than common perceptions would indicate.

The study found that 21 to 34-year-olds still place high priorities on face-to-face interaction. The top three choices for ways of learning among millennials were in person, including third-party conferences (39 percent), attending in-person classroom training (37 percent) and working alongside knowledgeable colleagues (36 percent).

Despite common claims that work-life boundaries are being eroded by digital technologies, the report also revealed that 27 percent of millennials never use their personal social media accounts for work or business purposes, slightly more than 24 percent of Generation X, aged 35 to 49.

By contrast, only 7 percent of Baby Boomers, aged 50 to 60, separate their personal and professional social interactions.

In addition, 55 percent of millennials would use personal accounts to communicate with colleagues or business partners compared to 59 percent of Generation X, while 54 percent would use social media to market their organisation’s services compared to 62 percent of Generation X.

"No question about it, millennials are adept at interacting online, but this doesn’t mean they want to do everything virtually," the report reads. "Millennials are also quite capable of distinguishing between the personal and professional realms and exercising discretion when they use social media."

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