Are your employees and bosses Facebook “friend” worthy?

It’s safe say that Facebook pops up in the workplace from time to time. Whether through client work, conversations, sharing photos, or distracting us from an important deadline, it’s a common occurrence.

But when it comes to being Facebook friends with the people you work with, specifically your supervisor, manager, director, or anyone who in fills a role as your “boss,” it’s important to tread carefully. Likewise, if you’re the boss and share a Facebook friendship with your employees, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.

Here are some guidelines to share with your colleagues as social media becomes increasingly pervasive in the workplace and as the lines between personal and professional identities blur.

For the employee:

Don’t friend request everyone on the first day. Give it time. If they can find you, they will. If they don’t, don’t be upset. Friend requesting up the food chain is dependent on corporate culture.

If you haven’t already, take down those obnoxious and inappropriate photos. You know the ones. And adjust your privacy settings accordingly. Maybe your boss doesn’t need to see every status update you post.

Don’t feel bad about not accepting a friend request from your boss. If they ask, just let them know you’re trying to keep your digital personal and professional lives separate. Suggest you connect via LinkedIn if you haven’t already.

It should go without saying, but if you are friends with any co-workers or your boss, Facebook is not the place to air your workplace grievances.

For the boss:

What’s your goal in being Facebook friends with an employee? Do you plan to communicate strictly as colleagues, or as pals? Is this an employee who may feel uncomfortable with your friend request?

You may want to check your photos and your privacy settings, as well. You wouldn’t want your employees to know you like to have fun, would you?

If you friend request an employee and he or she does not accept it, that’s his or her choice. Don’t make it personal.


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