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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Social media is harming productivity, warns employment law specialist

Far too many employees are being distracted by social media during the working day, employment law specialist Bibby Consulting & Support has warned.

A firm with more than 100 staff could lose more than 16 working hours every day if each person checked texts and Facebook posts for just 10 minutes - and this was only part of the problem according to the employment law specialists.

In fact, the company believes that the main issue is that through the growth of social media applications, employees are constantly aware of personal issues as a result of status updates and tweets, so they are more distracted from their jobs than ever before.

Michael Slade, managing director at Bibby Consulting & Support, believes that businesses should create and implement a social media and IT policy. This includes telling staff they are not allowed to use their mobiles during office hours and can only turn them on at agreed breaks.

He said that they should also not be allowed to use mobiles while at their desks and could face disciplinary action if they do so. Furthermore, he stated that all online activity must be work-related and that should be monitored.

Slade is surprised that many companies do not have a social media policy in place and a recent survey showed this to be the case in 52 per cent of businesses. At the same time, analysis has revealed that the peak time for social media traffic is during working hours.

"There is a serious problem here. These aren't just marketing statistics used by software companies to help sell their content filtering products, these are very real issues for businesses who are fed up with employees downing tools and simply messing around on the web," said Slade.

"Companies need to get tough and implement a strict policy. Having a comprehensive set of rules will help staff remain focused and so will drive up productivity. The good news here is that this can be achieved incredibly quickly and at zero cost to businesses."


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