Technology

Regulating Social Media at Work Is a Sisyphean Task

By Jon Hyman

Sep. 20, 2016

WF_WebSite_BlogHeaders-11According to Ajilon (as reported by BenefitsPro), American employees spend 140 per year (or an average of 33 minutes per day) on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social networks. Aggregated across all employees, the survey estimates this personal time costs employers $192.4 billion each year.

These numbers, however, merely beg the questions — (1) should you care and (2) what can you do about it?

The answers? (1) Of course, and (2) not much.

As I’ve long argued, employers that try regulate personal social media use out of the workplace are fighting a Sisyphean battle. I call it the iPhone-ification of the American workforce. No matter your policy trying to regulate or outright ban social media in your workplace, if your employees can take their smartphones out of their pockets to circumvent the policy, how can you possibly police workplace social media access? Why have a policy you cannot police and enforce? And, don’t forget, the NLRB is watching, too.

Instead of regulating an issue you cannot hope to control, treat employees’ use of social media for what it is — a performance issue. If an employee is not performing up to standards because they are spending too much time on the internet, then address the performance problem. Counsel, discipline, and ultimately terminate if the performance does not improve.

A slacking employee, however, will not become a star performer just because you limit his or her social media access; he or she will just find another way to slack off. Instead of wasting your resources to fight a battle you cannot win, reapportion them to win battles worth fighting.

Jon Hyman is a partner at Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis in Cleveland. Comment below or email editors@workforce.com. Follow Hyman’s blog at Workforce.com/PracticalEmployer.

Jon Hyman is a partner in the Employment & Labor practice at Wickens Herzer Panza. Contact Hyman at JHyman@Wickenslaw.com.

About Workforce.com

blog workforce

We build robust scheduling & attendance software for businesses with 500+ frontline workers. With custom BI reporting and demand-driven scheduling, we help our customers reduce labor spend and increase profitability across their business. It's as simple as that.

Book a call
See the software

Related Articles

workforce blog

Technology

4 Ways to Maximize HR and WFM Data

Technology and cloud-based applications and platforms enable companies to gather more data, but can the...

workforce blog

Technology

How to prevent workforce management system outages: mitigation through redundancy

Summary Workforce management data breaches and outages are a very real threat Businesses should build r...

data breach, network security, payroll system, system outage, workforce management

workforce blog

Technology

Kronos (UKG) data breach leaves businesses in the dark for “several weeks”

Summary Workforce management company Kronos (UKG) suffers ransomware data breach Kronos Private Cloud a...

data breach, Kronos, ransomware, security, UKG