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Nearly half of businesses do not have social media policies

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Up to 50 per cent of businesses operating in serviced offices and other buildings do not have social media policies in place, even though three-quarters of businesses actively use social media for business reasons, according to a new report.

Proskauer, a law firm, found that the lack of policies meant that there was no official recourse to resolving employee misuse of social networks as companies were lacking the necessary documents that identified what constituted a misuse.

The survey reported that 43 per cent of respondents recorded instances of their workers using social media in unrelated matters to the work they should have been doing.

Betsy Plevan, co-head of Proskauer’s international labour and employment group, said that employers needed to set “distinct and specific” policies and practices about how social media websites could be used to both “harness the benefits and minimise the risks”.

Ms Plevan said: “Relying on employees to exercise good judgment is simply not enough.”

The report also found that 29 per cent of businesses actively blocked employees’ access to social networking sites, and that nearly a third of businesses have had to take disciplinary action against employees for misusing social networks.