May 20, 2009
Sixty percent of executives believe they have a right to know how employees portray themselves and their organizations in online social networks, according to the third annual Deloitte LLP Ethics & Workplace survey released Monday. Employees disagree, though: 53 percent say their social networking pages are not an employer’s concern. This is especially true among younger workers (18-34 year olds), with 63 percent stating employers should not monitor their online activity.
However, employees appear to be aware of the risks presented by using these networks, as 74 percent of the participants responded that they can possibly cause damage to a company’s reputation.
While less than 25 percent of executives said that they have formal policies in place on the medium’s use, nearly half (49 percent) of employees responded that defined guidelines will not change their online behavior.
“With the explosive growth of online social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, rapidly blurring the lines between professional and private lives, these virtual communities have increased the potential of reputational risk for many organizations and their brands,” Sharon Allen, chairman of the board at Deloitte LLP, said in a release.