As the role of social media becomes ever more integral to the business world, and as more and more workers access social media sites, the line between work life and private life continues to blur.

Even so, there is yet little information available on how companies monitor their employees’ use of such sites, and how companies handle the information they glean from monitoring. Because this is all new territory, there are many issues connected with employee use of social media, including legal and privacy issues, as well as issues related to divulging company information.

A recent poll by business researchers Brian Cooper, Rob Hecker and Peter Holland of 500 employees in Australia showed that few workers are concerned about, or know little of, their company’s social media policies. The survey revealed that a little less than half of the workers access social media for personal use, while a little less than half say they use social media for both work and personal use. Only a little more than 10 percent said they use social media only for work purposes.

But the survey also showed that, even though there are many potential legal and professional hazards associated with social media, few workers appeared to be concerned about these issues. Almost 80 percent did not have a problem with their company monitoring their social media use. Only about half of the employees said they know how their employer uses the personal information the company gets from social media sites, and only about half of the employees said they know who has access to such information in their companies.

Two-thirds said they are not concerned how such information is used or even who it is given to.

In addition, about two-thirds reported that they have no idea what their company policy is regarding social media use.

The authors of the report say these results should raise an alarm. The use of social media sites by employees is only expected to increase, and so there will be more potential areas of conflict between employees and their companies in the future. The time is now, they say, for companies to firm up and communicate their policies to their workers.

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