Another social etiquette balancing act is developing between Facebook and the office. Social networking, both off and on the clock, is a touchy matter for many offices across corporate America. Yet we continue to spend our free time (or not-so-free time) on the likes of Facebook. Whether we’re checking our friends’ status updates, doing a background search on a new crush or playing a game app, we’re spending a great deal of time on Facebook.
For many offices, the use of social networking becomes a problem when it interferes with the productivity of an employee, or potentially puts that company’s brand name at risk. So the ebbing and flowing of regulations regarding employees’ use of social networking sites has been a practice of patience for those workers that find the two worlds colliding.
When and where the worlds of work and Facebook should intersect is a matter of debate and cultural overrule. As much as we contemplate the way relationships develop inside our office environment, we now have to consider how those relationships continue to develop in the online realm.
A recent survey conducted by Liberty Mutual’s Responsibility project asked 1,000 people questions such as “should you befriend your boss on Facebook?” and “what happens to your Facebook relationship when a peer becomes your boss? Do you unfriend them?”
These are becoming real questions to consider, and their resulting actions can have real consequences in the offline realm of the office. Things get particularly sticky when companies aim to incorporate more social media into their branding and marketing, as well as their internal communication practices. In an effort to improve relationships both inside and outside the office, various tactics of social media are being incorporated into business practices.
So where will the line be drawn? Does corporate America embrace or banish social media? How much can an employee be responsible for their company name and representation in the digital world? These are all questions that are of looming importance and are beginning to play out in legal scenarios. There’s really no end in sight as to where the happy medium between the office and social media can be met, but it’s clear that social media continues to effect our relationships in multiple aspects of our lives.