Social Media Policies: paper tigers or simply misunderstood?

Latest findings suggest UK companies still falling short of regulating social media in the workplace.

Almost a third (30%) of UK companies STILL don’t have social media policies in place, leaving them open to issues such as reputation damage and reduced productivity.

When these findings are positioned against the 32% of employees that didn’t know whether their company had a social media policy, we discover that a massive 62% of workers are either unaware of their company’s social media policy or are working without one in place.

The findings, from office suppliers Viking, suggest that more must be done by companies to ensure their position on social media usage is both clear and secure.

Massive reputational damage can be caused by careless or disgruntled employees taking to platforms such as Twitter and venting frustrations or even sensitive data. On top of that, with an average of 52 minutes a day being spent procrastinating at work – commonly on social media – the company could be experiencing an entirely avoidable productivity drop.


Other findings from the survey include:


  • Social media was restricted in some way for 44.8% of workers
    • Of these, 34.8% of them access it anyway
  • 6% of workers were free to use it whenever they wanted
  • Just 8.6% of workers were shown a social media policy thoroughly when they started work
  • 6% weren’t show a policy at all
  • 2% couldn’t remember – suggesting that if they were shown it, it can’t have been very comprehensively
  • Of the workers that still used social media despite it being restricted:
    • 6% stated they rarely thought about the social media policy
    • A further 31.25% never thought about it
  • When asked why they use it when it’s restricted:
    • 9% simply didn’t care at all about the restrictions or the consequences
    • 23% said they did it because they knew how to get around the restrictions
    • Men were less likely to care about restrictions than women (38.89% vs 33.33%)
  • 15% would turn to social media to vent work frustrations
  • 4% actually had done this


Claire Porciani, Senior Manager HR Operations UK & Ireland at Viking, said

“it’s surprising that, in 2018, as many as 62% of the UK’s workers are either unaware of their company having a social media policy in place or are currently working without one. Not only is it really important from a HR and legal perspective, these companies could also be missing out on the productivity boon that a considerate, modern social media policy can bring to the working environment. Less unofficial breaks and more frequent stress relief mini breaks can do your workforce a world of good. These benefits can be had for the price of a good social media policy and, if done well, this can remain in place for years to come.”

“The issue is that, if a company is unaware of the risks of operating without a social media policy, it might take an instance of reputation damage, or a similar negative issue, to raise the blinds on the problem.”


Author: Editorial Team

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