The misuse of social media can have serious consequences and adversely affect the workplace. Companies in Indonesia are thus advised to put in place a comprehensive policy on employees' use of social media, including the consequences for any misuse.

It is important for companies to strike a balance in their social media policy. A harsh policy on employees' use of their personal social media can deter potential employees and hurt workplace morale. And a policy that is too loose or no policy at all can expose the company to negative publicity or the exposure of confidential information.

In seeking this balance, a company might consider guidelines for any social media content using its brand, name, workplace, and uniform. It can also put in place requirements on identifying as an employee when discussing the company or competitors with other people, and prohibit any content that is offensive, defamatory, contains harassment, or causes hatred or hostility toward other people, including other employees. Companies can also use the guidelines to outline their policy on using social media during work hours and to clarify if they monitor online activity.

Companies need to ensure that sanctions for social media misuse by their employees are fair and transparent. Companies might want to put in place proportionate sanctions for different types of violations or for number of violations, such as warnings for minor violations, postponement of promotions for medium violations, and termination of employment for major or repeated violations.

The policy on employees' use of social media can be included in employment agreements, the company regulations (work rules) and/or the collective labor agreement. Note that care must be taken to ensure the policy complies with laws and regulations, including Indonesia's new law on personal data protection.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.