High-tech breaks could be good for small biz

When Marty Kotis looked at his company’s monthly wireless bill, he found a stunning charge — for 2,500 text messages on a single staffer’s phone.

When Marty Kotis looked at his company’s monthly wireless bill, he found a stunning charge — for 2,500 text messages on a single staffer’s phone.

There was more: Another staffer had 800, and a third, 700.

But Kotis, who owns a real estate development firm in Greensboro, N.C., didn’t reprimand his employees, although many of the messages were personal in nature. Instead, he put it all into perspective.

“The people that had the high text numbers are very good at their jobs,” said Kotis, president of Kotis Properties. “They worked weekends, extra hours. I had them do a lot of things for me outside of general work hours.”

Just a few years ago, owners were adjusting to workers spending time surfing the Internet. Now, it’s texting friends or communicating via Facebook or Twitter. And bosses are learning that as long as the work is getting done, it makes sense to let employees take high-tech breaks.

As Kotis pointed out, many staffers are also working well outside of business hours. “There is blending of work and personal time going on,” he said, and so it’s fair for employees to take some time during the work day for personal matters.

He said of his own company, “we give them things like work cellphones and ask them to carry them at 8 at night to take calls.”

Clamping down on texting, Twitter and the like can give your workplace an unpleasant atmosphere — something that could ultimately hurt your productivity now, and make it hard for you to retain good employees, especially as the economy improves.

 
 
Latest From ...
Most Popular From ...