From workplace distraction to conduit for stalking, harassment and other criminal activity, the rise of social networking has its supporters and its detractors. Although some companies lament the greater bandwidth demands, virus infiltration, identity theft issues, productivity drain and possible co-worker harassment that can pummel computer networks and employees, others point to the teamwork and productivity enhancement nurtured by having social networking as a mental break.
Some employers have embraced social networking as a method of assessing the true character and traits of aspiring employees. On the flip side, for some skin care facilities, the ever-expanding world of Facebook has encroached into the workplace with devastating professional and personal consequences.
But can the likes of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and FourSquare be used in the workplace in a way that doesn’t expose supervisors and skin care facilities to moral and legal liability? Can the freedom of the Internet that workplace bullies, would-be Lotharios, and just plain lazy folks are emboldened by be controlled and channeled into worker productivity? The answer is a resounding “yes.”