It’s everywhere. Every day you probably follow a group, friend someone you haven’t talked to in 15 years, tweet that your newest video is posted on You Tube TM and make sure that you are LinkedIn TM. Keeping up with Social Media is a part-time job of its own. It’s fun, it promotes you and what you are doing and it can keep you in touch with those in your life. However, setting aside all of the positive aspects of Social Networking, as a business owner you must consider how this impacts you and your bottom line.
Almost all employees have their own dedicated computer or access to a computer while on the job. This makes it very easy to have access to the web and its opportunity for “surfing” when time should be devoted to work. Surfing the internet while on a break or during a lunch hour is acceptable for some companies and can have positive effects on productivity. Where it crosses the line is when an employee devotes more than their allotted break time to their social media status updates. If you are paying your employees for time spent in non work related tasks, you are loosing revenue. You don’t have to invest in surveillance equipment or micro-manage your employees. But, what you should do is have a policy in place that clearly defines acceptable usage of company owned equipment and make sure that each employee clearly understands the consequences of unauthorized usage. Should you need to reprimand an employee or terminate their employment, having a policy in place will pave the way to ensuring your decisions are supported by the Department of Labor.