Do you allow your employees to use Twitter at work? Or are you in a muddle about whether social media could enhance or inhibit their performance?
According to a study commissioned by Robert Half Technology, an IT staffing firm, 54% of American companies say that they have banned workers from using social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and Twitter at work.
The study also revealed that 19% of companies allow social networking use only for business purposes, while 16% allow limited personal use.
ACAS, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service which supports both Employers and Employees comments on the use of social media sites like Twitter at work,
“Some estimates report that misuse of the internet and social media by workers costs Britain’s economy billions of pounds every year and add that many employers are already grappling with issues like time theft, defamation, cyber bullying, freedom of speech and the invasion of privacy.”
ACAS have outlined these guidelines to help businesses decide how to use and whether to allow social media in the workplace:
- Develop a policy on the use of social media at work. This should include what is and what is not acceptable behaviour for the use of the internet, emails, smart phones, blogs and tweets.
- Be careful if you screen potential candidates by looking at their social networking pages – this may be discriminatory.
- Employees should review the privacy settings on their social networking sites.
- Inform and consult with your employees if you are planning to monitor social media activity.
- Update your policies: for example, bullying policies should include references to ‘cyber bullying’.
- Be sensitive to work-life balance – the line between work and home is becoming increasingly blurred by the use of modern technology.
- Smart phones, internet, tweeting, blogging – we have accepted all of these innovations, and many more, as part of our working lives, helping us to work more flexibly, stay in touch for longer and respond to each other more quickly.
If you are a business owner or manager and need our support in creating a Social Media policy, or an employee guidance on the use of social media and Twitter at work please get in touch with us at Wrigley Claydon. We have the required breadth of knowledge and depth of experience to advise on a broad range of related matters.
Wrigley Claydon is one of few firms in the Oldham and Todmorden area able to boast a dedicated team of lawyers dealing solely with the needs of businesses. This team is led by John Porter, our experienced business solicitor.
Acting as your business’s solicitor we understand your individual needs, and have a team of specialist lawyers ready to assist you.
For more information or to speak to one of our specialists within this area of law, please call us on 0161 785 3529
Team: John Porter
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