Staff ignoring rules on which apps to use in the workplace

Employees are putting their businesses at risk of cyber-attacks by refusing to obey the rules when it comes to the apps they use in the workplace, according to new research*.

Workers have confessed to using unapproved apps in the office, including Instagram, Facebook Messenger and Snapchat, to communicate with colleagues as well as friends and family. For example, four in ten employees (41 per cent) admit to using Instagram for more than two hours each day, despite the app being banned in almost half of UK organisations.

The majority of employees are well aware that certain apps are not approved for workplace use, but this hasn’t stopped them breaking the rules. In fact, Maintel’s research found that usage is on the rise, with use of WhatsApp, Snapchat and Instagram increasing significantly over the past three years – 30 per cent, 27 per cent and 33 per cent respectively.

Staff told us that apps like WhatsApp offer ease of use (84 per cent), speed of response (44 per cent) and informality (35 per cent) in the workplace. This highlights that businesses need to implement more apps that meet their workers needs.

But, whilst employees may be continuing to break the rules, using these unapproved apps is a danger for many businesses. The risks of using undocumented, unsecure apps should be obvious enough – especially in light of GDPR.

Rufus Grig, CTO at Maintel, said.

If this research tells us one thing, it’s that whilst organisations can go ahead and prohibit the use of as many tools as they like, this will never be enough to actually make this vision a reality.

Businesses need to recognise that employees are still using these tools in the knowledge they are unauthorised, and make a conscious effort to understand why. Employers need to ensure the communication needs of a multi-generational workforce are catered for. To do this, it’s clear we need to invest more time into making sure that approved tools offer the best user experience possible, or in those words, offering platforms that are motivating, compelling and easy to use in the workplace.


*By Maintel


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Aphrodite is a creative writer and editor specialising in publishing and communications. She is passionate about undertaking projects in diverse sectors. She has written and edited copy for media as varied as social enterprise, art, fashion and education. She is at her most happy owning a project from its very conception, focusing on the client and project research in the first instance, and working closely with CEOs and Directors throughout the consultation process. Much of her work has focused on rebranding; messaging and tone of voice is one of her expertise, as is a distinctively unique writing style in my most of her creative projects. Her work is always driven by the versatility of language to galvanise image and to change perception, as it is by inspiring and being inspired by the wondrous diversity of people with whom paths she crosses cross!

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