Far too many companies still have problems with employees who are
continually ‘distracted’ by social communication during the working day, the
employment law specialist Bibby Consulting & Support has warned.
While the debate continues on just how much it costs companies when
employees use social media sites – a firm with 100 staff could lose over 16
working hours every day if each person checked texts and Facebook posts for
just 10 minutes – Bibby Consulting & Support said this was only part of the
In fact, the company believes the main issue is that through the growth of
social media applications, employees are constantly aware of personal issues
as a result of status updates and Tweets – so they are more distracted from
their jobs than ever before.
But, says Bibby Consulting & Support’s Managing Director Michael Slade,
businesses have an extremely simple solution to hand – they can create and
implement a social media and IT policy.
This includes telling staff that they are not allowed to use their mobiles
during office hours and can only turn them on at agreed breaks. They
certainly should not use their mobiles while at their desks and could face
disciplinary action if they do. Also, employers should make it clear to
staff that all online activity must be work-related and that it will be
Slade is surprised that many prospects he talks to still don’t have any sort
of IT/social media policy and a recent survey showed this to be the case in
52 per cent of companies. At the same time, analysis has revealed that the
peak time for social media traffic is during working hours.
“There is a serious problem here,” says Slade. “These aren’t just marketing
statistics used by software companies to help sell their content filtering
products, these are very real issues for businesses who are fed up with
employees downing tools and simply messing around on the web.”
He concludes, “Companies need to get tough and implement a strict policy.
Having a comprehensive set of rules will help staff remain focused and so
will drive up productivity. The good news here is that this can be achieved
incredibly quickly and at zero cost to businesses.”