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Facebook at work – but not as we know it

Much has been said and written about social media at work in recent years. When we talk about the use of sites such as Facebook in the workplace it’s usually in the context of misconduct by an employee who has posted something inappropriate for all the world to see. That may be about to change…

Facebook has announced plans to launch ‘Facebook at Work’, a network for professionals to make contact with one another and to collaborate on projects. The project is seen as a competitor to other popular professional networking sites such as LinkedIn.

Concerns have already been voiced about the potential for Facebook at Work to have a negative effect on productivity by taking up time employees’ time without offering any real value to the employer.

In comments made to the BBC – Professor Andre Spicer of Cass Business School also highlighted concerns about professional social networking sites making it easier for employees to accidentally leak sensitive information and for the software to create a “threat to hierarchy and clash with implicit or explicit chains of command.”

Our experience is that most employers are willing to give staff a reasonable amount of access to sites such as LinkedIn. If Facebook at Work does take off, businesses may need to remind workers of what is considered to be acceptable use of social media in the workplace. As with any online activity, employers should make clear to staff in a social media policy that inappropriate use of professional networking sites like Facebook at Work can result in disciplinary action.

Have a look at our recent blog post for tips on what to include in your social media policy and get in touch if you want to talk about social media in your workplace.


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