The phenomenon of social networking through sites such as Facebook, My Space and the more professional sites such as LinkedIn have become major aspects of e-communication inside and outside the workplace in recent years. As such workplaces are encountering new issues which require understanding as well as policies and procedures to deal with these new aspects of work, to ensure they reap the rewards of these new ways of working.
It is important to understand what the potential benefits and problems associated with these tools in the workplace of the 21st century are. The consequences of these new tools are being experienced in a wide range of workplace issues. From a productivity perspective the excessive use of these social media tools can have a negative effect as employees become diverted from the normal day-to-day activities due to the immediacy of communication on these sites. In addition, organisational reputation can be damaged where employees make inappropriate comments about their employer. Issues of privacy and security have also been raised.