Proskauer Rose LLP recently released its third Social Media in the Workplace Around the World 3.0 survey. Drawing 110 responses from a broad range of businesses, the survey reveals interesting trends in how businesses are addressing the ever-increasing use of social media in the workplace.
In terms of social media policy implementation, while 20% of businesses still don’t have social media policies, the overall number of businesses with social media policies is on the rise. That percentage can be compared to Proskauer’s 2011 survey in which nearly 45% of businesses did not have social media policies in place.
However, as many of you already know, simply having a social media policy is only half the battle; the social media policy must also be comprehensive enough to cover multiple risks. The survey revealed that many businesses may not be drafting comprehensive policies. For example, while 80% of businesses reported that their social media policy protected against misuse of confidential information, only 17% of those with policies have provisions that protect them against ex-employees who may misuse social media. Additionally, only 64% of businesses reported that their policies address harassment via social media.
In terms of enforcement, 70% of businesses reported disciplinary action against social media misuse in the office and 36% of businesses block access to social media sides, compared to 27% in 2012. Additionally, 41% of businesses monitor the use of social media sites at work, compared to 36% in 2012 and 28% in 2011. While 43% of businesses permit employees to access social media at work, this is a decrease of 10% from the 2012 survey.
Overall, trends indicate that while businesses are taking social media use seriously, policies still have some holes that should be addressed to mitigate against certain risks, such as unlawful harassment. Additionally, while the number of businesses monitoring and even blocking social media is on the rise, businesses should be careful that any monitoring of social media does not expose them to liability under state and federal privacy or labor relations statutes.
How do the survey results compare to your company’s experiences with employee social media use? Do you see the trends changing in the near future?