Picture this scenario: You're out on the water taking a relaxing weekend boat ride with your family. Plenty of sun, fresh air and quiet... until a 500-horsepower speedboat rips by, dousing everyone on deck with its wake. After wiping the water from your eyes, you catch a glimpse of the rogue captain: It's John Smith, your head of IT, who happens to be two-fisting a can of beer and a cigarette as he menaces other pleasure cruisers like yourself. Of course you're upset, but come Monday, does John still have a job?
From political bumper stickers to unseemly leisure pursuits, seems that more and more employers are taking a critical view of their employees' behavior beyond the workplace. Sure, getting thrown in jail is one thing, but what about John Smith our IT manager? Where would you draw the line with an employee's activities outside the office and what kinds of rules do you expect your employees to adhere to?
Darren Dahl is a contributing editor at Inc. magazine, which he has written for since 2004. He also works as a collaborative writer and editor and has partnered with several high-profile authors. Dahl lives in Asheville, North Carolina.