Saturday 18 January 2020

Employers are fighting a losing battle with technology

Kim Bielenberg

Kim Bielenberg

It is easy to understand why many bosses curse the day social media was invented.

Not only does it give their workers an opportunity to waste countless hours swapping links to YouTube videos of cute dancing kittens.

It also offers them the chance to alienate clients and colleagues with off-colour remarks or sexist jokes, or publicise the sort of behaviour that you would not get up to in church.

The latest survey by Dublin solicitors William Fry shows that four-fifths of Irish employees use social media at work, even though 40pc of companies have a ban on this.

And when all the frittering away of work time is over, the chances are they have a headache.

According to another survey by the Irish Medicines Board, they will probably waste yet more time diagnosing themselves, or even buying pills online.

Social media can spell trouble at work. In the past, for example, teachers might moan privately about their pupils in the staff room.

Now, as in one recent case, the teacher might go on Facebook to complain that they feel like a "warden for future criminals", and end up being sacked.

Banned

Or else they might post pictures of themselves pole dancing at a hen party.

The normal controls imposed by a centralised computer system, where Big Brother bosses check what their charges are looking at, simply don't work in the age of the tablet and smartphone.

Social media at work may be banned.

But one wonders how an employer can possibly enforce it, short of following the Twittering minion and their offending gadget into the loo.

Irish Independent

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