There is a lot to say about social media in respect to the workplace. Companies have built entire business strategies around social media, and for some workers it is a tool they use in their job every day. So where do you draw the line of what’s acceptable and what’s not?

It is a question that remains high on the HR radar but its answer is different for every company—and every employee for that matter. While it’s estimated that 65 percent of businesses have a social media policy in place, the guidelines for using social media for professional use versus personal use are distinctively different. And, if your employer falls into the 35 percent of companies who currently have no social media policy, then the answer is even more obscure.

Gadget interference
The prevalence of tech gadgets at work has made social media surfing even more tempting. Smart phones and tablets have become just another way to access email, take notes and share key information with colleagues. But, the constant internet connectivity makes it real easy to slip in and out of your work day mentally to check Facebook, Twitter and text friends while having the physical appearance of being present. Meeting times intended for business purposes are reduced to nothing more than playtime and unproductive chatter.

Freedom to wander
For those whose job responsibilities intersect with social media, the compulsion to take a few minutes here and there to use it for personal reasons can be easily rationalized. I mean, it’s right in front of you and you may even need to use your personal account to generate a buzz or connect with a client, so why not take in the latest news from friends. It’s no big deal, right? I’ll let your conscience answer that!

The truth of the matter is this: You know when you are on the clock and when you’re not, and if what you’re doing is furthering business initiatives or not. If your company has a formal social media policy, you also know the guidelines for its use. And, if your company is without a social media policy, let this be the principle that guides you: You are getting paid to do a job, so respect the rules of social media and do your job well!