In some jurisdictions, cultural norms maintain the separation of public (workplace) and private worlds. However, the degree of separation may be a factor of generational preference and technology. New Zealand's approach can add value across regions--but is it enough?
The blurring of workplace and private lives is hastened through the convenience of personal technologies such as PDAs and instant messaging.
In a recent session conducted by IRM Strategies in Asia, the generational divide was clearly drawn between managers had little familiarity with emerging personal networking technologies relative to use in the workplace and the frankness of juniors who "live and work" in a virtual world that routinely shared corporate information in unsecured "chats" that shape decision making and transactions.
Staff offer the example of the SMS capability of mobile phones which provides easy, direct and more effective communication than the employer provided systems. They note that employers do not generally support time taking to ensure accurate record keeping, demanding fast action and attention to "the real work". A smiling assurance is given that they update the files, electronic and otherwise, when there is time.
The implications for business and governance are large as more and more work related decisions are shaped by information gathering and exchange that occurs outside an accountability frame, with inadequate attention to security and beyond any capture of lessons learned for quality management.
The government of New Zealand invites comments on a proposed guideline in this challenging area. The focus is on clarifying use and approach. It is silent on the issue of managing the implications of knowledge exchange relative to business risk, accountability or quality management.
View the draft guide on social media monitoring and interaction
IRM Strategies invites your thoughts on this emerging issue.