Thursday, October 16, 2008

Facebook in the Workplace

I haven't written about Facebook for a while, probably because the novelty largely wore off quite some time ago.

Nonetheless, Facebook's place in the workplace remains a recurring theme in employment law circles.

A comprehensive article from Australian lawyer Nick Abrahams considers the risks of permissive workplace social networking policies, but nonethless, argues against Facebook bans.

He prefers "reasonable use" policies that emphasize employee responsibility:

  • Note that the general HR policies (such as no harassment etc.) apply when the employee is using a social networking site
  • Inform employees that they should only use such sites "reasonably", perhaps giving examples of what reasonable use might be
  • Reinforce the employee's obligation to keep the organisation's information confidential
  • Note that the employer may monitor the employee's use of the sites
  • Importantly set out the potential consequences of failure to comply with the policy, which might include termination.

As you'll note from our previous entries on the topic, I largely agree with this approach.

Another snippet from the article touches on a surprising finding that many recruiters might find interesting:

Recruiting: 46 per cent of social network site users said that if faced with two competing job offers that were roughly equivalent but one organisation blocked Facebook, the employee would go for the organisation that did not block.

See the entire Abrahams article: The pain and potential of Facebook in the office


'Friending' the Police

Another sign of the times.

A U.K. police force has set up its own Facebook page, in an outreach effort purportedly aimed at giving young people a way to help fight crime.

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting post! I'm behind on reading my feeds so I hadn't read your previous post on Facebook either. But I do think a lot of employees feel frustrated when they are treated like children by having websites blocked by employers. People will be productive or not, based on their style, regardless of what websites they have access to.