Almost 80% of Irish employees use social media in the workplace

A new report finds men spend longer on social media sites than women

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General view of social media apps Facebook, Twitter and Instagram displayed on an iPhone 5 | Image: Edward Smith / EMPICS Entertainment

A social media and employment research report has found men spend more time on social media than women during the working day.

Men spend 39 minutes checking social media at the office, as against 25 minutes for women.

The report, produced by law firm William Fry, has looked at evolving trends around social media usage within the workplace.

The fourth annual report reveals that more than three out of four employees (78%) are accessing social media using personal devices while at work.

That is up from 60% in 2013.

The report also states that 36% of employers do not have a social media policy or guidelines in place.

And 25% of employees are not sure if their workplace has such a policy.

Catherine O’Flynn, a partner in William Fry’s Employment and Benefits Department, said: “Businesses risk serious reputational and/or financial consequences from employees’ inappropriate activity on social media channels”.

“Accordingly, it is vital that organisations address use on personal devices as well as company devices when preparing their social media polices”.

‘Ownership’ in social media

The report finds that the continued popularity of LinkedIn, and other professional networking platforms, has seen a rising number of employees using social media to search or apply for new jobs.

It found that 24% of employees use social media to apply for jobs.

In addition, it says this is having an impact on how employees conduct themselves on these various channels - with 46% of employees, up from 28% in 2013, stating they would now think carefully about what they post in the event of a prospective employer seeing it.

And the 2016 report also highlights the ongoing contentious issue of ‘ownership’ in social media.

The most significant challenge presented by this area is what happens to work-related contacts when an employee leaves the company.

 In Ireland, 44% of employees have work-related contacts on their personal social media accounts.

However, a massive 96% of employees have never discussed with their employer what will happen to these contacts once they leave employment.