Be Careful when “Friending” a Co-worker

By OfficeTeam, Special for  USDR

Do workers “like” the idea of office friendships crossing over into social media? More than seven in 10 professionals (71 percent) polled by staffing firm OfficeTeam said it’s appropriate to connect with colleagues on Facebook. Slightly fewer feel it’s OK to follow coworkers on Twitter (61 percent), Instagram (56 percent) and Snapchat (44 percent). In contrast, less than half of senior managers interviewed think it’s fine to engage with fellow employees on Facebook (49 percent), Twitter (34 percent), Instagram (30 percent) and Snapchat (26 percent).

View an infographic of the research and data tables with breakdowns of the results by gender and age.

Workers were asked, “How appropriate do you think it is to connect with coworkers on the following social media channels?” Their responses:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Snapchat

Very appropriate

27%

22%

20%

14%

Somewhat appropriate

44%

39%

36%

30%

Not very appropriate

16%

22%

25%

31%

Not appropriate at all

13%

17%

19%

26%

100%

100%

100%

101%*

Senior managers were asked, “How appropriate do you think it is to connect with coworkers on the following social media channels?” Their responses:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Snapchat

Very appropriate

4%

2%

5%

2%

Somewhat appropriate

45%

32%

25%

24%

Not very appropriate

28%

41%

39%

36%

Not appropriate at all

23%

25%

32%

36%

Don’t know/no answer

0%

0%

0%

2%

100%

100%

101%*

100%

*Responses do not total 100 percent due to rounding.

“While the lines between our personal and professional lives continue to blur, not everyone’s comfortable connecting with colleagues on digital channels,” said Brandi Britton, a district president for OfficeTeam. “Before friending or following someone, check if that individual has other coworkers in their networks. When in doubt, let fellow employees make the first move online.”

Britton added, “Interacting with colleagues on social media can help build stronger relationships. But it should be done with care — you might not want to share everything with work friends that you would with closer personal contacts.”

OfficeTeam offers the following don’ts when connecting with coworkers on social media, along with advice for what to do instead:

     Don’t

       Do This Instead

Add everyone you work with to your
social networks

Be selective. If a colleague’s connections are limited to a few office buddies, sending an invite could be overstepping your boundaries.

Reject a coworker’s friend request

Explain that you prefer to keep your account limited to personal use and suggest connecting on a professional networking site like LinkedIn. In some cases, it may be best to accept the offer so you don’t offend the person. Adjust privacy settings to control what information he or she has access to.

Post updates or photos that reveal
too much

Use your best judgment when sharing. Not everyone needs to know what you did last night, and certain topics can come across as unprofessional. Remove questionable images from your profiles.

Interact with people in your network
only when you need something

Pay it forward by helping your online contacts and show support for their personal interests. You may discover things in common you can bond over.

About the  Research
The surveys of workers and senior managers were developed by OfficeTeam. They were conducted by independent research firms and include responses from more than 1,000 U.S. workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments, and more than 300 senior managers at U.S. companies with 20 or more  employees.

About OfficeTeam
OfficeTeam, a Robert Half company, is the nation’s leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled office and administrative support professionals. The company has 300 locations worldwide. For additional information, visit roberthalf.com/officeteam. Follow the OfficeTeam blog at roberthalf.com/officeteam/blog for career and management  advice.

SOURCE OfficeTeam

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.
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