Accessability Links

Social media use both in and out of the workplace

Posted by
22 Feb 2016

Social media seems to be a blogging theme at the moment, with my colleagues Laura and Amy highlighting a case where it can have devastating consequences, and Amy showing that your online presence can really affect whether you are successful or not in your job applications!
The Local Government Lawyer has recently published an article that states that the number of public sector employees being suspended over social media related issues is on the rise.
BBC Radio 5 Live have conducted a report, which claims that 51 workers were suspended last year, an increase of 19% from 2014. Of those 51, 11 were suspended for viewing porn at work, which is really quite shocking to read!!
A freedom of information request revealed that:

  • St Helens Metropolitan Borough Council suspended the largest number of workers. It said it took action against seven people over the period, several for offences involving Facebook, but did not provide details of the circumstances
  • East Riding of Yorkshire Council said it suspended two teachers for befriending pupils on Facebook, among other issues. In one case, it said, the teacher had attempted to arrange a meeting with the child via the social network
  • Swindon Borough Council said it suspended a worker for making threatening comments towards a colleague on Facebook
  • Leeds Council took action against two employees over racial comments they had made online
  • East Renfrewshire Council suspended an employee for the inappropriate use of its official Twitter account
  • Cheshire West and Chester Council took action against a worker who posted rude messages about the public on Facebook while on duty
  • Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Council said one worker had been made to take six days off for posting an inappropriate photo on an unnamed site
  • Luton Borough Council, Norfolk County Council and Newport City Council all confirmed that they had dismissed workers following their suspensions, while Milton Keynes Council said a suspended worker had opted to resign. No background details were provided for any of these cases

The numbers do not surprise me that much, more so the details of the suspensions! It seems that employees are being completely careless, and dare I say it – stupid! Use of the internet and social media is integral to our daily lives, like it or not. So how can you stay out of trouble?

If in doubt, do not use the internet at work at all for anything other than work related tasks!

Do not make comments related to work on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook – if you have had a disagreement with a colleague, don’t write a status about it, don’t comment on any of their updates – steer clear of anything untoward. Don’t moan about your manager, don’t moan about your company – you will only discredit yourself.

If you have moved on from an organisation, do not think this gives you license to say whatever you want about them online, it always comes back to haunt you.

It isn’t rocket science, just think things through. Do not go on Facebook at work full stop, don’t be booking a holiday during your core hours, don’t shop for a new pair of shoes – you get the gist.

If you are particularly aggravated about a situation, don’t angry type as the only person who will really feel the wrath will be you.

Are you still looking for social media etiquette tips? Why not view our latest Slideshare presentation for all the latest tips and tricks. View Slideshare 

Add new comment
Back to Top