With all of the recent buzz in the media about Facebook we thought it a good time to address the topic of employees use of Facebook at work. Regardless of your industry, your employees are using Facebook, whether at work or at home, and they may be talking about you!
The Facebook dilemma is not new – it is simply the “next step” of communications. For decades employers have been faced with how to handle employees’ use of company time to participate in personal communications. This decade it is Facebook and other social networking sites. Last decade it was the use of email for personal correspondence and accessing personal email from work. The decade prior it was voicemail; employees using a work phone to access personal voicemail messages.
As with all policies, your social media policies should be addressed in a manner consistent with the company philosophy and other like policies. Things to consider include:
- What is your culture? Is it informal – promoting independence where you allow employees to track their own time? Or is it formal and more structured – requiring strict monitoring of employees’ time and the use of a time clock? Do you have a lot of hourly employees and a tight production flow?
- How do you currently handle employees’ personal use of email and phone? If your current policies restrict their use to breaks and lunch, then the use of Facebook should also be restricted to those times.