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While social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter enjoy unparalleled popularity, almost half of UK businesses have banned employees from accessing certain networking sites during office hours within the last year.

According to a new survey of 2,500 employers by Lewis Communications and HCL Technologies, 45% of employers are concerned about the effect comments made on social media sites could have on their business reputation.

”It is quite remarkable that in this day and age, many employers are still putting their employees’ interests as a low priority by not allowing them to use sites like Facebook,” said Vineet Nayar, Chief Executive at HCL Technologies.

”While we always advocate responsible use of social networks in the office, banning them outright will impact employees’ approach to work in a negative way, having a detrimental effect on the business as a whole.”

His thoughts have been echoed by leading employment law experts, with one saying that employers should do all they can to prevent social networking sites being used during office hours.

“I can understand employers being concerned. You have the risk that employees will waste time on social media, or worse the employee says something that reflects badly on the employer,” he said.

“Whilst some types of social media can be beneficial to a business, these risks make it imperative that each employer has a written social media employee policy in place. A complete ban will unnecessarily stifle the potential commercial benefits, might be perceived as unreasonable by the employee and may mean the employer actually has less control of their online presence as employees become more secretive.”

Written by Andrew Hodges

May 13, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with , ,

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