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Social Media

Due to ever increasing developments in technology, social media and the impact it has in the workplace is on the increase.  In its broadest terms it is internet based tools that are used on a variety of platforms such as smart phones, laptops, stand alone computers and tablets to encourage people to socialise and keep in touch.

This trend that is growing in speed can affect the way colleagues treat each other, how a companies reputation is perceived, and have an effect on communication amongst employees, managers and potential recruits.  It is also proven to distort what boundaries exist between the workplace and home.

  • Creating a  policy : It is the role of the employer to inform employees what is acceptable behaviour in the workplace regards to social media, emails, use of smart phone and accessing the internet including blogs.  It’s best not to have an overly formal policy.
  • Rules when recruiting: If you have a ridget pollicy in place you could find that you would scrap this as trends are changing and technology are developing so very quickly It is advised that there are rules in place that managers and employees would be expected to follow.
  • Be considerate:  Employers are encouraged to promote a work life balance – there is a fine line between work and home life is becoming a blur by the use of technology.
  • Update all policies :  This would be to update the company bullying policy to include reference to ‘cyber bullying’
  • Engage with employees   Employers should always inform employees if there are any plans to monitor social media activity within the workplace as this could affect the workplace.
  • Who has access to your profile?  It is recommended that employees check their privacy settings on each of their social networking sites.  Also they should be mindful of the fact the colleagues may be able to view the social networking page.
  • Screen potential recruits : If employers choose to screen potential recruits by referring to their social media pages, it should be noted this can be perceived as unfair and discriminatory

The internet, tweeting, blogs and smart phones – we have welcomed all of these recent innovations to helps us to work more flexible, respond to each other at a quicker rate and to stay in touch.

But is it all good and welcoming?  Unfortunately there is plenty of research that suggests that social media and the internet are misused by employees and costing the British economy billions of pounds each year.  Employers also have to handle issues such as time theft, cyber bullying, invasion of privacy, defamation and freedom of speech.

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