Social media policy lacking in the Swedish workplace

swedenA new survey has revealed that a mere seven percent of Swedish businesses have a formal social media policy which covers how staff can access websites such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook during work hours.

The survey of 34,000 companies around the world, revealed that global averages are closer to 20 percent, as reported in The Local. “In Sweden it is perhaps part of a more general IT policy. Perhaps we see social media as more of an opportunity than a problem. Perhaps business culture in Sweden places more responsibility on the individual,” said Hans Makander from the Swedish arm of employment agency Manpower. He also stated that the current situation echoed the arrival of the fax, photocopier and mobile phone. “It takes some time to establish what can be done with the new technologies, and what is okay to do privately at work; but after a while it settles down,” Makander said.

Concerns over social media use are common across all businesses, not only for the impact on productivity–but also that sensitive or damaging information could be leaked, according to the 34,000 companies canvassed in the global survey.

“Companies need to find ways to capitalise on social media in their operations. A formal policy for the use of external social media can be fine, but it should not be used to control staff,” said Peter Lundahl, CEO of Manpower Sweden. The group further advocates using social media for teambuilding, recruitment and stimulating employee commitment. Employees themselves, also surveyed in the report, felt that the best boost to company performance through social media would come through brand development.

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