Connecting on social media with co-workers can be some of the most rewarding activities… or one of the most awkward, divisive ones.
Because we spend so much time at work, it’s easy to fall into an easy comfort zone with co-workers.
Heck, some of my best friends (20 years later) are people with whom I have worked.
You may have camaraderie in the office, and even hang out as those friendships strengthen.
But what about when things go south? Something happens at work or in your personal life with these people, and suddenly, being friends on Facebook seems like a really bad idea.
Should you connect on social media with co-workers?
The answer is this: if it feels right at the time, and you feel comfortable sharing the personal details posted on your own profile / page, then go for it.
But if there is a tiny inkling in your head that maybeeeeeee this isn’t a great idea, then table it for now.
When we invite someone to our personal page, it’s like inviting them into our house. They will see the dirty clothes piled by the washer, the dishes in the sink, and anything else that might reveal us in our natural state versus the more professional version at the office.
It’s always fine to unfriend someone when things go south. You have to do what you have to do.
But the same may go for you: the other person may unfriend you based on what you post. And that can hurt.
And when you work with that person, that means that work situations can sometimes get pretty awkward or difficult.
My advice is that you should only friend someone at work when you have more in common than just work. Shared interests, common activities, and a genuine desire to get to know the other person as well as stay in touch with them.
Office Team recently conducted research on the statistics outlining how most people feel about connecting on Facebook (71%).
But senior managers don’t feel as comfortable doing so.
It might be their generation which is a bit more reserved than millennials. But it also probably has to do with the concern about finding out about employee details that could shape how the manager perceives the employee and influence their evaluation of the staff person’s work.
I am willing to be that in years to come, this will continue to blur as is the line between work and personal life.
But for now, your best bet as to whether you should connect on social media to co-workers is to use the old saying: If you wouldn’t want your family to see it, you probably don’t want your co-workers to see it, either.