Friend request denied: Aussies regret adding their boss on social media

Peter Terlato 2 August 2016

boss crying

Think before you add!

Have you accepted or requested friend invitations from your boss or workmates on social media and then kicked yourself for doing so? Join the club.

A recent survey by recruitment agency Adecco found that as many as 1.6 million Aussie workers regretted adding their boss or colleagues on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other forms of social media.

More than three-quarters of Australian workers (77%) would never invite their boss to be a friend on social media but only 21% were reluctant to invite work colleagues to join their networks.

Reasons for not socialising with the boss online? Wishing to keep work and private life separate (56%), fear of making things uncomfortable at work (25%) and fear of saying something embarrassing (20%).

One in four Aussie workers (25%) have been appalled or distressed by their boss' or colleagues' social media postings once they've befriended them online.

Some of the principal offences that lead to these feelings of angst and contempt include the prevalence of opinionated comments, racial slurs and the misuse of online information at the workplace.

One respondent claimed they were so shocked by a Facebook post from a colleague at a sister business that they stopped referring them work altogether.

"...which may end up costing their company more than half a million dollars in lost revenue per year," the respondent said.

These issues aren't necessarily surprising, considering most people entering the workforce (Gen Y) are digital natives, presumably keen to blur the lines between work and play.

However, they are actually least likely to befriend their boss on social media. Taking a more savvy approach, Gen Y understand their social media activity may have an adverse affect on their career (25%) or increase the likelihood of being caught taking a sickie when they're actually enjoying time with family and friends (13%).

Adecco listed a few handy tips for managing social media in the workplace:

  • Don’t friend the boss on social media
  • Be careful when friending colleagues
  • Never post anything you wouldn’t want your boss and colleagues to see
  • Don’t check in anywhere if you are supposed to be at home sick
  • Stick to LinkedIn and professional channels for work engagement

Picture: Shutterstock

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