Technology Management

[ Materials ]

Career & Technical Education: Business & Information Technology Summer Conference
Wednesday and Thursday June 11-12, 2014 in Murray, Utah

Controlling Internet Use in the Workplace


Employers have the right to block and/or monitor an employee’s use of social media (or other websites) while using an employer-owned electronic device.

However, "many of these users access sites via mobile devices, not work computers that can be monitored and outfitted with site-blocking programs" (Toth, 2014).

According to a 2012 survey by SilkRoad, a Chicago-based company that specializes in HR software, three-quarters of employees who participated said they use their personal mobile devices to access social media at least once a day while on the job, with 60 percent admitting they use it several times a day. Facebook and Twitter were the most popular sites. (Toth, 2014).

In a survey of 110 businesses, "70% of businesses reported disciplinary action against social media misuse in the office" (Proskauer, 2014) Due to this, about 80% of the same businesses now have social media policies in place. "Many businesses have introduced measures to address the specific risks arising out of social media misuse by their employees, such as bullying and harassment, misuse of confidential information and the making of disparaging comments about businesses and colleagues" (Proskauer, 2014). Here are some additional details from the study:

The number of businesses with policies has increased significantly, from 60% [in 2011] to nearly 80%.
— More than half of businesses have updated their policies in the last year.
In addition to implementing policies, businesses are now taking precautions to protect against specific risks associated with misuse of social media, such as:
— Misuse of confidential information (80%)
— Misrepresenting the views of the business (71%)
— Inappropriate non-business use (67%)
— Disparaging remarks about the business or employees (64%)
— Harassment (64%)

There has been an increase in the number of businesses taking measures to stop employees
from using social media at work. We found that:
— 36% of employers actively block access to such sites, compared to 29% last year.
— 43% of businesses permit all of their employees to access social media sites, a fall of 10% since our last survey [in 2011]