Should your boss request a Facebook friendship?

Should your boss request a Facebook friendship?

What are your personal social media guidelines?

Do you have any personal rules? Do you play things by ear and hope for the best? Are you free and easy and open about everything with everyone? Maybe you have just one rule of keeping anonymous and shutting out as many people as possible?

There is every extreme you can think of when it comes to how people manage their online profile.

Should your boss request a Facebook friendship?

Today’s question;  should you be friends with your boss on Facebook?

When is it ok for your boss to request a Facebook friendship?

What ever line of work you are in, I would advise to think twice about accepting or asking for a friendship request from your boss. Remember, you are in control of who views what and you should never be put under pressure to feel obliged to add your employer as a friend.

Is it fair for bosses to request friendship/access to your Facebook profile?

I suggest that bosses have a think about their own work guidelines around social media too.

Personally, I have been friends with a boss on Facebook and no harm came from it whatsoever. I can’t remember who requested who’s friendship in that instance.

I know another employer who makes a point of never requesting an employees Facebook friendship. He doesn’t think it fair to do so and wouldn’t want his staff to feel compromised, or under pressure to accept a Facebook friend request, so he takes it out of the equation by never asking in the first place.

I also know of a situation where an employee’s personal rules where to keep his Facebook account locked down tightly with only very close friends and family allowed in. However, their workplace requested that he manage one of their Facebook pages and so requested a friendship in order to make him a page admin. In this situation the employee felt he had little choice but to accept this request in order to do his job. Tricky one. Could this have been resolved by the employer trusting him with the username and password to the page itself, rather than requesting a friendship and making him an admin? Or maybe here is a case for creating another personal Facebook account; one just for work duties and colleagues friend requests.

Just say ‘No’

Or of course there is the option to just say ‘No’, and explain your own personal Facebook policy. And remember you have control over your FB settings and who can see what.

With the way the world is these days, it always take that much for someone to take offence at something that is posted.  Take an earlier example of a teacher who posted a photo of herself holding an alcoholic drink on holiday. She was told to chose between being fired or suspended.

How many teachers alone have lost their jobs because of comments they have made and photos they have posted on Facebook?  Some with good reason, some with very little reason at all.

Just say ‘Yes!’

Though you could go to the other end of this dilemma’s spectrum and use Facebook as you would a blog or website and talk about your industry, show your knowledge, be friends with your boss and impress ’em!

Would you befriend your boss on Facebook? Do you feel pressure to allow colleagues access to your FB account? Are you an employer? What’s your Facebook/Work/Privacy rules?

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Say hello on Twitter @karenstrunks

PS. If a company (or anyone for that matter) ever requests your login details for any social network; don’t do it under any circumstances. Read this statement from Facebook.

This article has 3 comments

  1. HELL TO THE NO!! 🙂 keep it separate……

  2. The alternative option is requesting that there is a centralised ‘work’ account, through which all pages are managed – this makes it far easier to control, and doesn’t compromise an individual’s privacy.

  3. In the example where you want to add employees as a Page Admin, you can add them without being friends on FB – you can add a Page Admin using just their email address. This solves the common problem where employees must manage their employer’s FB Page yet want to keep their FB activity separate from work.

    To answer your post though – it depends on your employer and your relationship with them. Secondly, the employee always gets to decide whether to accept the friend request or not.

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