Disciplinary action over social media doubles

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Companies are increasingly resorting to disciplinary action to crack down on social media misuse, according to a global survey.

Social Media in the Workplace Around the World, compiled by employment law firm Proskauer, looked at over 100 companies.

The findings show that 70% of employers have taken action against staff for misuse of social media. This is up from 35% in 2012. 

The survey suggests that companies are starting to take the threat of social media misuse seriously, with many implementing policies to protect themselves.

The most common concern is publishing confidential information (80%), followed by misrepresenting the views of the business (71%). Posting disparaging remarks about the company and bullying and harassment (both 64%) are also major concerns for employers. 

Daniel Ornstein, Proskauer's London co-head of employment law, said: "“When we published our first survey in 2011, there was a sense of novelty and even mystery about social media usage in the workplace. Harnessing social media for business lacked the sophistication and prominence that it has today.”

Erika Collins, co-head of Proskauer’s international labour & employment law group, added that companies should be training their staff in social media strategy to avoid issues arising in the future.

“The near ubiquitous use of social media for business has led to a maturing appreciation of workplace risks arising out of its misuse," she said. "The more that people use social media for business purposes, the greater the chances that the line between personal use and business use will continue to blur.”

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