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Connexus : Issue 40
Tweet work for some Many companies are introducing policies that prohibit or restrict employee use of Facebook and similar websites while at work. BY MARGARET BOZIK T he rapid growth of social networking has created workplace issues which organisations are dealing with in a variety of ways. A sur vey last year by international web security frm Clearswift found that a third of Australian companies were blocking or discouraging the use of social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Fifty-four per cent of managers said they did not trust employees to use such media responsibly while at work. Restricting access to social networking sites on work computers is only one aspect of the issue. About half of all employees now have a personal internet connection in their mobile phone, and analyst Telsyte predicts that by 2015 nearly 90 per cent of all mobile phone users in Australia will have a smartphone as their primary mobile device. For this reason many organisations are developing policies that cover personal use of social media. At Community CPS, access to social media was initially restricted to a centralised group of employees, but it is now being rolled out to a broader range of roles, says Peter Rutter, the credit union's executive for retail. A survEy LAsT yEAr By InTErnATIOnAL WEB sECurITy FIrM CLEArsWIFT FOund ThAT A ThIrd OF AusTrALIAn COMPAnIEs WErE BLOCkIng Or dIsCOurAgIng ThE usE OF sOCIAL MEdIA suCh As Faceboo & Twitter Staff must complete intensive training before they are given access. The focus is on risk management and how people present their views if commenting on Community CPS. Staff are not permitted to respond on behalf of the organisation unless they have completed the training. Personal use is not generally monitored, but if an employee spent too much time on non-work social media, their manager would address the issue, says Rutter. Community CPS has policies for identifying and managing any negative social media comments by its members or other people in the general public, he says, noting that most comments are positive or from people seeking more information. Access by approval At Hume Building Society, accessing social networking sites through the company's network is prohibited unless approval is obtained from the relevant senior manager and IT, says CEO Andrew Saxby. Accessing social networking sites with personal mobile devices is expected to be on the employee's own time, and it must not interfere with their job responsibilities or detrimentally affect the job responsibilities of other employees or har m Hume's reputation. "Staff members have been asked to notify their senior manager or marketing [department] if they notice compliments or criticism relating to Hume," says Saxby. "An authorised respondent will People 42 Connexus