While you may think it’s a wise move to stay connected to your
co-workers on Facebook, research has stated otherwise. Liberty Mutual’s
Responsibility Project shows that 56 percent of Americans think it’s
irresponsible to friend their boss.
From the other perspective, 62 percent of bosses agree that it’s wrong to friend an employee. Co-workers and your friends or family are two different audiences. Here are three tips for handling co-workers’ friend requests:
Defer them to LinkedIn: Facebook was founded as a social network for students and then grew to become all-encompassing. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is a professional network. It’s very hard to be social on LinkedIn, but very easy to job-search and build your professional Rolodex. You should add your co-workers and managers to LinkedIn so they can provide recommendations and help you strengthen your network.
Be straightforward: If a co-worker sends you a friend request, tell them that you are only using Facebook for family and close friends. They should respect your personal boundaries and understand where you’re coming from. You should set boundaries before you run into a situation where a co-worker adds you as a friend.
Have two profiles: Have a private profile and a “fan” page for your professional life to avoid awkwardness. No co-worker will question you when they see that you have a page for them to “like” because it is a workplace relationship.
–Dan Schawbel is the author of “Me 2.0,” the Managing Partner of Millennial Branding, LLC, and a personal branding expert.
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