The repercussions of that attitude were discussed in a recent article on this publication by Kurt Siemers, CEO of Kennedy and Coe. His firm allows employees to use social media during the work day and has no doub that this is the right policy. "It's available at work all the time just like the telephone is,." he says."It's a real negative impact to say 'You can't use Facebook.'"
There are a lot of things that can be abused. Workers can spend hours playing solitaire, talking on the telephone or just staring at the computer. The real solution is setting rules that deal with behavior. Employees can't run their own businesses from employers' premises. They have productivity goals that must be accomplished. They can't say negative things about the firm online. And there is a reasonable amount of social media usage that is acceptable.
As with many other behaviors, some of these are difficult to quantify and it takes judgment on the part of the employer in dealing with individual situations. In some cases, it may simply be if the worker accomplishes jobs goals that is really the important issue. But wherever the line is drawn, the market has a role in determining just what it considers acceptable no matter what individual employers think.
Make the wrong decision, and a business marks itself as a place that the workforce does not consider as an appealing career choice.