Is social media taking over the workplace?

The Good

Social media can be great as a promotional tool. It allows small businesses to connect with clients and find new networking opportunities without even leaving the office. Management systems like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck allow you to schedule posts in advance, giving employees more flexibility and freedom with their working hours.

The Bad

With every good aspect comes the bad. Social media can be detrimental to the health and safety of an organisation when it creates issues with bullying or discrimination. The 2016 Workplace Info Social Media Index states that approximately “23% of organisations have experienced bullying of their employees via social media” with 38% of bullying primarily involving employees making “inappropriate”, “derogatory” and “disparaging” comments about co-workers. Having clear policies and procedures outlining the appropriate use of social media and the consequences of misusing it are vital to ensure employee compliance.

The Ugly

It is important to keep in mind that illegal actions such as defamation can occur on social media. Any social media platform is considered a third party, and remarks about a person or alluding to a person can be considered harmful to their reputation. In the case L v Credit Corp Group Limited t/as Credit Corp Group [2013] a Customer Relations Manager sexually harassed a new employee by making sexually inappropriate comments on Facebook. He also “attacked” certain charitable organisations. These actions are unacceptable and your company policies and procedures surrounding social media need to clearly state what the boundaries to social media use in the workplace are.


For more information on managing social media in your workplace, contact us on (08) 9316 9896 or

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