More than a quarter of businesses are yet to implement social media policies in the workplace despite the widespread adoption of social among employees, according to a study.
The research, by workplace information company Croner, urges firms to make clear their recommendations for use of social media at work.
It found that 28 per cent of businesses still don’t have a social media, internet or email policy in place despite 15 per cent of UK workers logging on at least once per hour during a typical working day.
The Croner survey also found that male employees are likely to use the web for personal use the most, with 19 per cent confessing to logging on at least once an hour, compared to ten per cent of females.
While it is hard to completely control the use of the internet at work, allowing staff to check Facebook, post on Twitter and update LinkedIn should have some part to play in the working day – it is just important that companies have plans in place to manage it.
Amy Paxton, Senior Employment Consultant at Croner, said: “Traditionally employers have had a knee-jerk reaction to social media, some wanting to dismiss employees for gross misconduct. However, this could result in claims for unfair dismissal.
“Additionally, when faced with such situations, employers may also want to introduce a complete ban on accessing social media sites. While this is an understandable approach, employers need to consider the potential benefits for their business if employees make positive use of social media.”
Ms Paxton said it was perfectly acceptable for employers to limit internet use during times when employees are expected to be working.
“However, access could be offered before or after work, or during official breaks. Whatever an employer chooses it is important that they have the right policies in place which clearly set out what employees can and can’t do,” she said.