Social Networking in the Workplace

September 5, 2011

Acas has addressed a problem which it says is estimated to cost Britain billions of pounds every year. The new Acas Guide aims to help businesses, staff and trade unions agree on the use of the internet and social media web sites at work.

The Guide considers issues like time theft, defamation, cyber bullying, freedom of speech and the invasion of privacy and how employers should respond to the challenges posed by social networking tools at work.

New research from the Institute for Employment Studies, commissioned by Acas, advises employers to:

·        draw up a policy on social networking

·        treat ‘electronic behaviour’ in the same way you would treat ‘non-electronic behaviour’

·        react reasonably to issues around social networking by asking ‘what is the likely impact on the organisation?’

There are fact-sheets on the ACAS web site offering practical tips on how to manage the impact of social networking on:

·        Managing performance

·        Recruitment

·        Discipline and grievances

·        Bullying

·        Defamation, data protection and privacy.

There is also a guide on ‘How to develop a policy‘.