Fleximize released their findings in July 2017 of a study into workers procrastination habits and identified that the instant messaging app WhatsApp is the most distracting platform. 72% of employees regularly use it to chat to friends and family when they should be working.  Other common workplace distractions named in the study affected the following percentage of employees:

Facebook (70%), Instagram (49%), Twitter (41%) and Snapchat (30%)

Some organisations are aware that employees use WhatsApp as a communication tool amongst teams. Whilst this may assist with communication in the workplace it can also provide employees with a platform to air grievances and complain about their work colleagues or how they are being treated by their manager.

As WhatsApp picks up all contacts on a user’s smartphone there is also the risk that an employee could accidentally send confidential information and attachments relating to their organisation, or that of a third party, to an individual who is outside their organisation.

Employers need to ensure that they have clear policies and procedures when it comes to social media and the use of the same in the workplace.  If social media is approved for work purposes then clear rules need to be provided around how employees conduct themselves to ensure that they do not break any defamation, data protection or privacy laws.

If the use of social networking sites during working hours is not acceptable then employers need to ensure that this is clearly communicated to employees and that they understand the implications of what may happen if they are found to be using social media (i.e. any issues will be dealt with through the disciplinary procedure).

If you have any concerns on how social media is used within your organisation or if you require guidance on how to communicate your rules to your employees then please call Practical HR on 01702 216573 or email

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