It is hard to imagine running a business without email because it is such a convenient, flexible and immediate tool. But the fact it is so easy to send an email can result in misuse or abuse. A carelessly phrased email forwarded to lots of recipients can quickly damage your reputation or break confidentiality, even when unintended.
This means you need a clear policy in place on email usage. Review your IT or email policy and make sure it says what you want it to say.
During working hours, you can expect your employees to focus on work-related emails only. If employees send personal email at work but during their breaks, you might consider restricting their access or allow it as a kind of goodwill. Your IT systems are the property of your business so make sure the IT policy sets out when and how this property can be used.
If any employee continues to send personal email while working, they are in breach of their duty towards your business and can be disciplined. If the content of these emails causes a serious and immediate risk to your reputation, they could be dismissed for serious misconduct.
Outside work hours is beyond your control, except when the company’s reputation is involved. Employees cannot email anything in public that might spoil your reputation. Your IT policy must tightly define negative comments and say that negative comments made in public could lead to disciplinary action. At worst, negative comments made in public can lead to libel action.
Employsure advisers will help you word an effective email usage policy.
For peace of mind, please call our 24 hour Advice Line now on 1300 651 415.