Over Half of All CFOs Cite Social Media as Number 1 Concern

Over Half of All CFOs Cite Social Media as Number 1 Concern
Image via Flickr by benstein

A recent survey released by Accountempts shows that 51 percent of CFOs state that employee use of social media during business hours is their number one concern. Indeed, with social media costing the United States economy over $500 billion in lost productivity each year, it’s no wonder that CFOs and employers want to know exactly how they’re affected. In fact, the latest research shows that once an employee visits a social media site on the clock, it takes nearly half an hour for them to refocus on their responsibilities.

The statistics get even worse for CFOs, however, as one source states that each employee who uses social media during business hours costs approximately $4,452 in wasted wages each year. Wasted time on the internet isn’t just limited to social media. While younger employees roam Facebook and Twitter, older employees have the tendency to visit sites that allow them to manage their finances.

What CFOs and Employers Can Do

For some companies, the simple solution would be to simply have IT implement blocks on social networks as well as any social media software like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite. The only issue with company-wide internet blocks is that the censorship causes no change in the behavior or attitude. With no change in behavior, employees could potentially just go to their smartphones instead.

Workplace attorney Mindy Rowland notes that the vast majority of employers don’t have any written policies on social media. Once employers create that foundation, they can focus on the IT side of things and how social media use will be monitored. As the social media problem is solved or at least tackled, many CFOs can diligently begin the process of trying to track wasted money.

However, CFOs and employers must also realize that not all social media use is negative. Aside from marketing efforts, social media can be used to:

  • Provide customer service
  • Enhance online reputation
  • Expand company reach as well as secure new clients

Indeed, leveraging social media properly can give companies a distinct advantage over their competitors, so while there are certainly risks to social media use in the workplace, there are incredible rewards as well. For employers worried about wasted time and CFOs trying to reign in wasted spending, developing and stringently implementing consistent guidelines is the best place to start.