Since social media arrived and grew to become the phenomenon it is today, there has been an inordinate amount of commentary, discussion, and debate about the power of social media over people and their lives. The whole concept of engaging, and indeed living, a lot of life online seemed like a totally alien concept but is now as much a part of life every day as waking up or brushing your teeth. There are some people who do not engage in social media, but they are few and far between. Research shows us that they are unaware or disinterested in it or those who have made a philosophical decision to leave it, having experienced the pros and cons, and the cons won out. Then there is a huge group of people who have suffered abuse in, some shape or form, on social media which has impacted them in a myriad of ways.
It is easy to see why the focus of that debate usually gets around quickly to the benefits and dangers of living in a social media world. Listing them is simple –a world in which one can do so many things that undoubtedly make life much easier and can enhance relationships in many ways. Benefits range from simple access to knowledge, on an unprecedented scale, to keeping in contact with friends and family online in ways that heretofore didn’t exist, through technology-enabled face time calls, meetings, and the like to the vast world (literally) of online shopping and working. Put it all together and it becomes clear that you could, if you choose to or are not careful, end up living life one’s entire life online.
The downsides are equally well cataloged – from isolation to withdrawal from relationships in the “real world”, to the appeal attraction of creating an online persona, which is not truly oneself and obsessing about protecting and developing that persona and image to the outside world. Research and statistics reveal the pain, agony, and distress that can be caused by such online living –including bullying, harassment, denigration, abuse, and the like.
For business owners and managers, it is a minefield. Social media is a unique hazard – and the focus is, and should be, about how to protect staff online – day in and day out. It is the company’s responsibility to protect and safeguard its’ employee’s well-being and their mental and physical health, by ensuring they have the right procedures, protocols, and guidelines in place. These should not be just lists on a piece of paper, but an active programmer of employee education, advice, and support. Proprietors and managers need to ensure that the working practices and support are fit for purpose; that is a hugely important part of building a not just a safe and collaborative culture but and admired and sustainable business that attracts and retains talent by putting their safety and well-being first. In simple terms, that means keeping staff secure online, 24/7; ensuring if they are working from home that they are not isolated; they have adequate tools and technology to do their job, in line with health and safety guidelines and looking after their physical and mental health, by providing clear, effective guidelines and supports, which staff can access and avail of, day and night.
The most obvious challenge is proving that protection around the clock. Many organizations, big and small, simply not have the resources or the expertise to do so. They are, quite rightly, focused on their core business, to build the business to deliver returns for all stakeholders. The solution is equally obvious: they can put employee welfare and protection first by having the right supports in place, working with a company such as Risk Eye, whose business is just that – protecting people, customers, and brands online 24/7. The team at Risk Eye knows what to do, how and when to do it, and, though their unique advanced systems, make staff protection simple, straightforward, and reality – in a way that the company itself cannot.