Should you be Facebook friends with your boss?

What to keep in mind if you decide to friend your boss on the social network.

Your boss may be friendly, but is he or she Facebook friend worthy?

It’s safe to 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 fills a roll as your “boss,” it’s important to tread carefully.

Likewise, if you’re the boss and share a Facebook friendship with your underlings (I mean employees), it’s important to keep a few things in mind.

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.

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?

For the employee:

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

For the boss:

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?

For the employee:

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.

For the boss:

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.

For the employee:

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:

Casual use of Facebook by employees in the office doesn’t mean that he or she isn’t getting work done, but make sure access to social networks doesn’t begin to intervene with productivity.

Kelsey Schnell is an account assistant with Identity, providing research, media relations and copywriting for the account team.

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