|Oct. 1, 2009 | www.fisherphillips.com|
From Facebook to LinkedIn to Twitter, it seems that internet-based communications are everywhere. Some argue that Web 2.0 technologies, such as blogging, micro-blogging, photo-sharing, video-sharing, life-casting and networking, help companies meet their customers' needs and that social media supports the democratization of knowledge, news and even professional sports. But there are risks associated with employee social media use; risks that you can manage with a clearly defined policy regarding media use.
With the economic downturn and political change in Washington, the past year has been difficult for American businesses. But in many ways, employers have benefited by the fact that legislators have been focused on bailouts, stimulus packages, and healthcare reform. These politically-charged subjects have kept the legislators' focus off of other big changes to the workplace that are waiting in the wings. Without these larger issues, legislators would have been acting on numerous proposed laws to change virtually every area of employment law.
Employees are working longer and harder to ensure that they keep the jobs they have. With unemployment hovering around 9.5% nationally and up to 13% in states such as Michigan, employees are doing what they can to stand out and avoid being cut in unfortunate, but sometimes necessary layoffs. After a reduction in force, the remaining employees' workload often increases to sustain production of employees that were let go. This increased workload, along with the pressure to keep their current job, leads some well-intentioned employees to arrive earlier, stay later, work through lunch, or take work home – regardless of whether they are being compensated. For employers, employees who work harder and longer can only be a good thing, right? Perhaps, but proceed with caution.