The use of social media and messaging apps like WhatsApp for official communication is apparently taking its toll on civil servants. The news was revealed by Senator Datuk Mariany Mohammad Yit, who claimed that several groups had come forward to complain that the situation was affecting their quality time with family, and eating into their breaks.
“Nowadays, the use of social media applications such as Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp is very popular among the top management and officers in the public sector. There are also government departments which have made the WhatsApp group as a channel of communication,” she said during a debate in the Dewan Negara.
Mariany pointed out that the Public Service Department should clarify whether WhatsApp has been gazetted as an official channel of communication for the civil service.
The private sector is probably already aware that instant messaging makes it very easy for bosses to communicate with employees; it has been the case since the introduction of email to the workplace.
Some western countries have recognised that the constant communication could have negative effects on personal time; and have implemented laws to deal with the problem. Germany, for instance, has banned the sending of work related emails on weekends. Of course, Germans have a culture of efficiency and can easily resolve most working matters within the normal 9-to-5 office hours.