Irish

Tuesday 29 July 2014

More than half of Irish employees spend an average of 39 minutes on social media during their working day

Denise Calnan

Published 05/05/2014|11:28

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Social media use is an issue
A total of 59 per cent of workers access social media sites during their shift and spend an average of 39 minutes per working day on their own preferred websites.

More than half of employees in Ireland are unable to complete a working day without logging onto their favourite social media networks to check up on their friends’ latest activity.

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A total of 59 per cent of workers access social media sites during their shift and spend an average of 39 minutes per working day on their own preferred websites.

The social media and employment report, published today by law firm William Fry, studies the use of social media in the workplace and the measures Irish employers have taken to control the social media phenomenon. 

Companies in Ireland have begun to manage their employees’ use of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter among others with 42 per cent of companies saying they have implemented a social media policy. This figure is up from 31 per cent in 2013.

However, only 54 per cent of the employees in these companies have read the company social media policy and less again claim to understand it.

The report claims that the 58 per cent of Irish companies who have yet to publish a social media strategy are leaving themselves and the business open to possible legal issues in relation to social media usage by employees.

One potential problem is the issue of ‘ownership’ in social media.

A staggering 95 per cent of employers have not discussed with their employees the ownership of work-related contacts on their employees’ personal social media accounts. These could be of significant value to the workplace and it isn’t made clear who has right to the contacts if an employee decides to leave the company.

Catherine O’Flynn Partner in William Fry’s Employment & Benefits Department said it is time for Irish companies to realise that social media usage in the workplace is an issue that needs to be dealt with.

"How social media affects the workplace is an issue that employers need to consider and deal with.  Having a social media policy and instilling best social media practice within their organisation is hugely important," Ms O’Flynn said.

"Litigation in this area is increasing and employers need to be best placed to protect their assets, their brand and their reputation from potential damage."

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