WhatsApp and other social media messaging services causing workplace disruption

According to research 53% of frontline workers have admitted to using consumer social messaging tools such as WhatsApp up to six times in the work day. A further 16% stated that their managers are unaware of the levels of activity.

Legally, the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) which came into effect in May 2018 were supposed to ensure the eradication of unauthorised messaging services in office places yet over half of employees surveyed said they use their personal phone for work-related communications, whilst 30% of respondents expressed concern about maintaining a clear division for work availability.

WhatsApp work chat groups can create difficulties for employers as rarely is the “chat” limited to personal matters. Inevitably work-related matters become the focus of the chat and this can create problems relating to confidentiality, breach of data protection and general misconduct. Employers have been advised with the advent of GDPR, to outlaw such chat groups and it is important that managers do not turn a blind eye to such workplace activity but that they actively discourage it, reminding staff of social media policies.

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