Majority of employers still have no social media usage policy

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6 May 2014 | 0

A study of social media and employment by law firm William Fry has found that while 59% of Irish employees use social media at work, for up to around 39 minutes per day, the vast majority of employers (58%) still have not set a policy to govern such usage.

While the average time spent on social media sites has fallen from 2013 when the average daily usage was 56 minutes, a worrying finding was that 95% of employers have not yet discussed with employees the ownership of work-related contacts on their employees’ personal social media accounts.

The number of companies that have set social media policies has risen to 42%, up from 31% in 2013, but more than half (54%) of employees say that they have not read the policy, and of those that have, half (51%) say they do not fully understand it.

“How social media affects the workplace is an issue that employers need to consider and deal with,” said Catherine O’Flynn, partner, Employment and Benefits Department, William Fry. “Having a social media policy and instilling best social media practice within their organisation is hugely important.  Litigation in this area is increasing and employers need to be best placed to protect their assets, their brand and their reputation from potential damage.”

The research highlighted the contentious issue of ‘ownership’ in social media. This is particularly relevant in relation to professional networking platforms such as LinkedIn. In Ireland, 40% of employees have work-related contacts on their personal social media accounts. The issue arises over what happens to these work-related contacts, which may be of significant business value, should an employee leave the company. The research shows that this problem is almost entirely unaddressed among Irish businesses.

 

 

 TechCentral Reporters

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