Dealing with the social media monster (Guest commentary)

Off-duty conduct that hurts employers a grey area causing headaches for HR
By Vita Lobo
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 06/02/2009

Water-cooler gossip, lunch break chats and informal conversations with co-workers: That’s how social networking in the workplace used to work. But the Internet changed everything.

Sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have completely rewritten the rules. While social media in the workplace is still in its infancy, the rate at which it is escalating is phenomenal. Facebook has about 80 million users, of which 8.8 million are Canadian. This widespread audience can have a significant impact — both useful and damaging — on employees and employers. Personal blogs have also become a common tool, usually created to keep in contact with family and friends and, in many cases, colleagues at work.

Consequences of social media