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 PDA’s 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 company’s 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 work and home.
- Create a policy: It is the role of the employer to have a formal policy in place to inform employees what is acceptable behaviour in the workplace in regards to social media, emails, use of smart phone and accessing the internet
- Recruiting : when a company is recruiting make sure the new recruit is aware of the formal policy in place
- Screen potential recruits If employees choose to screen potential recruits by referring to their social media pages, it should be noted this can be perceived as unfair and discriminatory
- 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.
- Engage with employees Employers should always inform employees if there are any plans to monitor social media activity within the workplace.
- 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.
- Update all policies This policy should now under the bullying section about cyber bullying
We have welcomed the internet, tweets, blogs and smart phones all of these recent innovations to as part of our working day help us work more flexible and we can respond to each other at a quicker rate and to stay in touch.
Unfortunately there is plenty of research that suggests that social media and the internet are misused by employees and costing millions and millions of pounds each year. Employers also have to handle issues such as cyber bullying, invasion of privacy, defamation and freedom of speech.