Employers should give employees access to Social Media while at work – shouldn’t they?

I am a technological immigrant and proud to consider myself almost fluent in the language. My children on the other hand are technological natives and for them a world without mobile phones and laptops is as alien as a world without cars is to me.

I listened with interest yesterday to digital social media guru Penny Power of Ecademy as she mentioned in passing that she is working with various bodies to make social media more acceptable in the workplace.

That got me thinking …… When writing employment contracts and employee handbooks, policies and procedures, time and time again employers have asked me to provide a policy preventing employees from surfing the net, blogging, tweeting and accessing Facebook while at work. They want consent to monitor computer / Internet usage and the right to intercept and read mail. In short, they do not want employees wasting time when they should be working and the do not want to pay people for sitting around playing.

So, where does that leave Gen Z? Those for whom online networking is so totally natural they don’t even have to learn it.

Well, many graduates do not want to work for organisations who restrict access to the Internet, do not allow employees to blog and spend time on their facebook page. If this trend grows, then employers are going to be forced to rethink their policies to enable them to successfully compete for top talent.

As a business owner I blog, tweet and use LinkedIn and Ecademy to raise awareness of HR issues and what I do to help employers.

Should large companies develop a social / online media strategy, support it with policy and come kicking and screaming into the 21st Century. Is this a way for big business to survive?

Leave a Reply