Mar 01, 2016 08:24 AM EST

Does Your Company Have A Right To Monitor Your Social Media Usage?

French Actresses Busy With Their Social Media
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 29: (L-R) Actresses Doga Zeynep Doguslu, Tugba Sunguroglu, Gunes Sensoy and Ilayda Akdogan attend the Champagne brunch reception honoring the French nominees for The 88th Academy Awards at La Residence de France on February 29, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/WireImage)
(Photo : Getty Images)

Social media is so pervasive nowadays that even businesses use it to promote their products and services. Employers have allowed, and even instructed their employees to use these communication networks in the course of their normal business operations. And there lies the problem.

Since they are social media platforms, employees will inevitably use these networks even after office hours. Should employers therefore have the right to monitor such communications?

Employers have the right if the following conditions exist:

1. If it adversely affects your productivity

A Symantec study published in HR monitoring revealed that approximately 90 percent of the companies surveyed experienced a decline in the productivity of their employees due to the inadvertent use of social media.

2. If it is not connected in any way to the performance of your job

The company is paying you by the hour to do whatever it is you are required to do. If your social media activities are related to increasing the company's bottom line, well and good. But if it is solely for personal reasons, then you are stealing time from your company.

On the other hand, it is not good for employers to monitor your social media activities, especially after office hours for the following reasons:

1. Your employer will waste his time in monitoring every bit of tiny information that you do on social media. He will be wasting his time concentrating on things that will not contribute to his bottom line.

2. You have a right to privacy

Your right to privacy guarantees that no one can spy on your activities if you are on your own time. If your employer still manages to monitor your social media accounts, even after office hours, he is liable for the crime against invasion of privacy.

That's why you should insist that the company you are working for must have clear and unambiguous policies on the use and monitoring of social media activities of its employees.

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