To friend a colleague or not to friend a colleague? That is the question. Ultimately the first solution that comes to mind is to not add them. But we know this could turn into a corporate politics killer and send the wrong message. Believe it or not, it really does matter how they perceive you.
Therefore, how do you express your personality, opinions and witty humor on your Facebook profile whilst being aware that your friendly colleagues are watching?
1 CENSOR YOURSELF
To begin with, you probably shouldn’t add your manager and most managers do not ask. It is sort of the unwritten rule. Two words come to mind when this happens, ‘Facebook fired’. However, you have probably felt very comfortable adding your peers.
Be mindful that they may soon become your boss and you will be left with an awkward dilemma to ‘unfriend’ or censor your content. Therefore, those Friday night partying photos and moaning about the job or colleagues will be no more and you will need to keep a keen eye out for friends and family who love to tag you in theirs. Truly the best decision is to create a LinkedIn page, it is the professional network that doesn’t include our personal content and photos and the best solution to Facebook colleague woes. You can also hide content from specific groups or people using the privacy settings, but it can get annoying remembering which things you’ve hidden and who you’ve hidden them with.
2 CREATE A FRIEND LIST
However, should this not be an option, consider creating a Facebook ‘friend list’. This list will allow you to post updates that are only shared with non-work colleagues or those added to the list. Most importantly, this list can be used to post information you do not want to share with people you work with. But requires work on your part.
Follow these steps:
- Go to your Facebook profile home page
- Click the ‘more’, next to the Friends header in the left-hand column
- Here you will create a list; name it and add members
- Once the list is saved you will be able to post that Bridal shower photo you shouldn’t be proud of but can’t resist (yes, you know the one).
- When updating your status, be sure to choose the white drop down menu at the bottom of your update box, you may need to select ‘more options’ to see your newly created list. Do this every time you post, as Facebook will remember the last list chosen. We wouldn’t want all this work to be in vain should you send your coworkers the post about your new job offer before you have had time to meet with your boss. (Ooops!)
3 CREATE A GROUP
Another Facebook option is to set up a group for your work colleagues and encourage them to join this group with great content you don’t mind sharing about your personal life, office birthdays, witty quotes of the day or needed information. Additionally, permit your colleagues to also share content as well. This type of open but politically monitored social group will keep colleagues engaged in something other than your personal profile and send a message that personal and professional lives on Facebook should be separate but equal.
4 BE FRIENDLY BUT PROFESSIONAL
If you already have some of your colleagues on Facebook, don’t worry about dropping a like their way every so often. If you see something offensive or some Facebook drama of theirs just click away and ignore it, you can hide their timeline from your newsfeed if it’s constant.
Be the bigger person and definitely don’t bring up something you saw on Facebook while at work, unless it’s aimed at you or your colleagues, and if they’re sending you too many annoying game requests, you can go to your blocking settings and type the friend’s name into the Block app invites section. If they constantly message you about work on your Facebook messenger, just put yourself offline or disable chat. It’s all about managing your options!
5 BE SMART
Remember Facebook is open to the public. Surprise! Therefore a quick google search could reveal more than you anticipated so refrain from complaining about your job or being too obvious about job searches, entrepreneurial endeavors, or anything that may be perceived as a conflict with your current employer.
If you feel these suggestions may put you in a box, then we suggest you kindly explain to your coworkers that your page is strictly for family and friends. You mean no offense but it is a private page. Happy Facebooking!