This article was written by Douglas Idugboe and originally published on Smedio.
Are you comfortable “friending” your boss on Facebook? What should you do if your boss sends you a Facebook friend request? On the contrary, should you take the initiative and send a Facebook friend request to your boss? There are no easy answers to these questions and a lot would depend on the kind of rapport you share with your boss.
Robert Half Workplace Survey
The recently concluded Robert Half Workplace Survey indicates 43 percent of those surveyed were not comfortable with being connected with the boss on social network sites, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, while 47 percent of managers were uncomfortable with it.
Further, only 26 percent respondents said they use Facebook to connect with their colleagues. Interestingly, only 3 percent believe that friending colleagues had a direct negative impact on their workplace relationships. However, nearly one-third are critical of their colleagues being friends with their boss on Facebook.
Only Thirteen percent respondents said Facebook had helped better develop their work relationships. Based on the above findings, the verdict is clear – most Kiwis are not comfortable with the idea of being friends with their boss on Facebook.
More importantly, the survey highlights a pressing need for businesses to provide more emphasis on creating and defining social media policies in the business environment, which are currently either unclear or non-existent.
Coming back to the original question – should you be Facebook friends with your boss? I wish there was a one size fits all answer to this question but unfortunately that’s not the case. It entirely depends on the kind of relationship you share with your boss. If it’s very formal and purely professional, I’d advice against risking a Facebook friendship. However, if you share a good personal rapport and you often discuss personal issues with him/ her, it may well be worth being Facebook friends.
For most people, Facebook is an open book about their lives. One quick look at their profile, wall and pictures can reveal a lot about a person. Do you really want to share all these details with your boss? Be mindful of the implications involved before you take a decision either way as there’s no stepping back.
If your boss sent you a Facebook friend which you declined or vice-versa, it can be interpreted as a wrong signal. Be mindful of what’s out there in your profile about you, take time to adjust your privacy settings, and carefully evaluate what you contribute to online conversations.
If you are aware of the implications and you act accordingly, there’s nothing wrong with being Facebook friends with your boss. In fact, it might just help better your working relation with your superiors.
Are you friends with your Facebook boss? Did it have a positive, negative or neutral effect on your working relationship? Please share your opinion by leaving a comment below this post.