Monday, 29 October 2007

Facing up to Facebook

Do your staff know just how far they can go when it comes to accessing social networking websites during office hours?

Our Employment Law Specialist, John Mehtam, said the number of people signed up to sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo was increasing by the day.

“Obviously employers are well within their rights to restrict the amount of time their staff spend on sites like these during their working day, but it’s important that the guidelines are made very clear.

“Rather than banning them altogether, employers would be better placed if they took a sensible measured approach, and asked their staff to behave responsibly. No-one wants their employees spending hours every day organising their social lives when they should be working.

“But equally, drawing up policies in consultation with your staff will help them to have a clear understanding of what you will, and will not tolerate – after all, you’re paying them to do a job.”

Some employers also use internet management software to restrict access to some named websites during working hours.

“Talk to your employees, and explain that although you appreciate they all have the right to a social life, you need to make sure that productivity levels are maintained, and that you expect them to comply with the rules."