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Is It Such A Good Idea To Befriend That Colleague?

With the end of the year upon us and festivities and holidays in abundance iFacts would strongly encourage employees to take responsibility for their activity on social media.

Work and professional relationships do have a strong tendency to develop in to friendships outside of the working environment. This fosters happier and higher performing teams. Many co-workers and employees will engage in “friending”, “following and “connecting with one another on social network.

This in itself has a strong potential to cause friction and challenges in the workplace. More often than not, when employees are connected via social media, more intimate and detailed thoughts and opinions are expressed, not associated or linked to the professional relationship. There are many documented situations (where employees who are connected on one or various social media platforms) of one employee “telling on” another employee. This could be for a number of reasons and topics, most notably, people tend to forget their co-workers are a friend/ follower, and express feelings in a negative light about another co-worker/ manager or the company they work for. This in turn has serious potential repercussions and consequences for the employee/s and the employer.

As a matter of advice, we would always recommend that when connecting with co-workers on Facebook, ensure that these “friends” are grouped in a category of co-workers, while ensuring that privacy settings are sufficient to ensure that specific content can be seen by co-workers. Better yet, it may be wise to open a secondary Facebook account (this also goes for Instagram, Twitter and any other social platform other than LinkedIn) which is for professional purposes, and to connect with clients, suppliers and co-workers.

Employers should also ensure this is addressed, by having a comprehensive, air tight and standalone social media policy, while also ensuring that all staff are trained on social media in terms of use, guidelines, privacy settings and legal aspects.

For more information on the iFacts Social Media Risk Assessment contact our offices today 011-453 1627 or

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