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Average employee spends 56 minutes of working day on social media sites

“Im dossng off @ wrk, lol. #rebel”

"No, you're not supposed to Like a status if it's bad news..."
Image: Goodluz via Shutterstock

THE AVERAGE WORKER at a medium-sized Irish firm spends one-seventh of their paid working week on social media websites, according to a new employment report.

The data from solicitors William Fry (PDF) said the average worker spent 56 minutes of their working day on services like Facebook and Twitter.

That works out at four-and-two-thirds hours a week  - or over one-seventh of the length of the average paid working week, which the CSO says is around 31.7 hours.

The survey, of workers in firms with over 50 employees, also found that over 80 per cent of employees accessed social media sites at work – even though 40 per cent of companies had company-wide bans on doing so.

The research suggested that most employees were happy to use their personal smartphones or other devices to access social media sites separate to their workplace internet connection.

Catherine O’Flynn, an Employment & Benefits Associate at the law firm, said the data showed there appeared to be little point in introducing company-wide bans on accessing such sites, if workers had the ability to access them anyway.

“Companies should focus on defining realistic limits for access to social media in the workplace,” she said.

The report also dealt with the issues of who ‘owned’ the content posted to social media accounts, particularly in cases where an employee left a company having built up a significant social media presence.

It also finds that many employers have not considered their legal responsibility if employees bully, harass or discriminate against others in their online presence – even if they do so without the employer’s consent or knowledge.

“Although over half of employers say that activity on social media sites should be treated differently if it takes place outside of working hours, the same considerations apply regardless of when the activity takes place,” the firm said.

73 per cent of employers said they were not considered about employees posting confidential business data.

Read: Australia targeting Irish workers in social media campaign

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Gavan Reilly

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