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Canadian Businesses Reining in use of Social Media

By Sara Bedal |

Social networking may be gaining ground in the workplace but many Canadian companies are tightening their grip on just how employees use sites such as Facebook and Twitter while on the job.

One in five chief information officers (CIOs) reported in a recent survey that their firm's IT policy has become stricter in respect to employees' personal use of social media at work while 15 per cent said they are placing limits on its use for business.

Almost half (48 per cent) reported that there has been no change in their IT policy on social networking. The survey, by Robert Half Technology, was based on telephone interviews with more than 270 CIOs from companies across Canada with 100 or more employees.

Some firms have become more lax in respect to employees' social networking habits. Specifically:

  • 14 per cent reported a greater leniency in respect to personal use
  • 10 per cent reported the same in respect to business use

"Companies are still evaluating the use of social media in the workplace and are weighing the benefits against the risks," says Megan Slabinski, president of Robert Half Technology's Canadian operations.

"With the social media landscape constantly evolving, firms are trying to find ways for employees to leverage professional networking, industry developments and company positioning without compromising security or employee productivity."

Clearly, the jury is still out as to the role social networking should play at job sites across the nation. A 2009 study by Robert Half Technology found that nearly six in 10 (58 per cent) of companies have policies that ban the use of social networking altogether.

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