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TUC: A Quick Poke In Work Hours Should Be Allowed August 30, 2007

Posted by liverpoolchamber in News, World Wide Web.

The Guardian today reports on the TUC’s announcement that guidelines should be drawn up to protect employees from the sack if they use social networking sites like Facebook or MySpace in the office.

The article says: “The TUC yesterday appealed to the employers of the 3.5m Facebook users not to give them the sack for doing a bit of social networking while at their desks.

“The plea follows decisions by a number of employers – the latest being Kent county council – that staff caught sending messages to their friends while they should be working would be sacked.

“Brendan Barber, TUC general secretary, urged firms not take such drastic action. ‘Simply cracking down on use of new web tools like Facebook is not a sensible solution to a problem which is only going to get bigger.

“It’s unreasonable for employers to try to stop their staff from having a life outside work.

“It is better to invest a little time in working out sensible conduct guidelines, so that there don’t need to be any nasty surprises for staff or employers.'”

Read the full article here.

We’ve mentioned social networking before at The Chamber. Sites like Facebook (where ‘poking’ a friend is a quick way of saying “Hi”), are not just useful tools for keeping in touch. If engaged with sensibly, they can be an excellent resource for making new contacts and raising company profiles.

Like any web-based activity, if it is used responsibly, it can lead to new and unexpected ways of working. Employers need to understand and except the technologies, and provide a framework within which staff can safely use them. At the same time, employees should ensure that their MySpace addiction does not interfere with their duties. As usual, a middle ground would seem to be the sensible way forward.


1. Business Should Embrace Social Networking « The Chamber - October 29, 2008

[…] Chamber has supported this view for a long time – see our previous posts here and here. We have ourselves embraced social networking as a way to communicate with the local, and global, […]

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