SURVEY SAYS: “Friending” in the Workplace

Many people share every detail of their lives on Facebook.

Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, “How comfortable would you feel if a workplace contact ‘friended’ you on Facebook?”


When it comes to managers, nearly half (49.2%) would feel “very uncomfortable” friending on Facebook, while 28.6% reported they would feel “somewhat uncomfortable.” Nearly five percent indicated they had no feeling either way, only 7.9% would feel “somewhat comfortable” and only 9.5% would feel “very comfortable.”


More than half (50.8%) of responding readers reported they would feel very uncomfortable friending on Facebook, and 22.2% would feel somewhat uncomfortable. Nearly 8% each selected “no feeling either way” and “somewhat comfortable”, while 11.1% would feel “very comfortable.”


Being Facebook friends with clients and vendors followed a similar path; 42.9% would feel very uncomfortable friending a client, and 38.1% would feel very uncomfortable friending a vendor. Those feeling somewhat uncomfortable were 30.2% and 27%, respectively. The percentages who selected “no feeling either way” were 12.7% and 9.5%, respectively, while 9.5% would feel somewhat comfortable friending a client and 17.5% would feel somewhat comfortable friending a vendor. Only 4.8% reported feeling very comfortable friending a client, and only 7.9% said they would feel very comfortable friending a vendor.


Things were a little different when it came to co-workers, as 19.1% reported feeling very uncomfortable, 30.2% indicated feeling somewhat uncomfortable, 9.5% had no feeling either way, 22.2% would feel somewhat comfortable and 19% would feel very comfortable.


In verbatim comments left by readers, many pointed out that LinkedIn is a better site for business relationships, and many reported they keep their work and personal lives separate. However, some had no problem friending workplace contact, while some said it depended on the relationship outside of work. Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said: “Facebook is a complete waste of time that can only create problems for people using it. Wrecked marriages, strained relationships and problems at work are only a few of the issues created by our over communication on apps like Facebook. Pick up the phone, meet in person…that is how humans should communicate.”


Thanks to all who participated in our survey!



I value my privacy and I am quite distrustful of who uses information that is shared on the internet. Consequently, I have never visited Facebook’s site, and I never shall.

I try to keep my work and personal lives separate.

I use Facebook for family and friends. I use LinkedIn for business associates. If a colleague invites me to connect via Facebook, it is easy to decline using this simple rule.

Who needs Facebook when you have lots of friends without it? I’m not on Facebook, but I am sometimes jealous when others hear “news” before I do.

I’m not on Facebook (and never have been) so I don’t have to worry about it!

If we were truly “friends” outside of work, then it would be ok. Since I am the boss though, I don’t have any work friends on my Facebook list and I think that is a good thing.

I will only be FB “friends” with people when we no longer work together. Even then, I’m pretty selective. It’s just not worth the professional risk.

It would be weird since I’m not on FB, but even if was on the site I would still find it off-putting.

For me, Facebook is about my personal life, LinkedIn is for professional/work associations.

You certainly don’t need to accept anyone who sends you a friend request. I just ignore those who I don’t want to be friends with and if someone asks me about it, just respond with I really only reserve Facebook for family and close friends. Sorry.

Don’t use Facebook. Linked In is for business. I’m amazed how dumb people are to post about politics, religion or how much they hate their job, while they are FB friends with their boss, coworkers and clients.

Never the twain shall meet!

I’m okay with being social media friends with co-workers, especially if we see each other outside of work. Other than that, I stay away from clients and vendors, as well as higher-ups… not worth the hassle!

I am not on Facebook but I would not include workplace contacts as friends if I were.

I’ve found it’s best to keep a separation of work and home. A lot less drama all around.

Work is work, personal is personal, and never the twain shall meet. My work contacts are on LinkedIn.

I tend to keep my Facebook life separate from my work life, unless I am very close to that person. LinkedIn is the platform I use to foster working relationships. Things can get messy on Facebook with political leanings and even religious views.

I think social media platforms like Facebook are a menace for the most part. My coworkers spend the majority of their work day on Facebook. It’s certainly not appropriate for managers and those managed to be “friending” each other.

Early on I became Facebook friends with a whole host of acquaintances. As a result I am very careful about what I share and/or pages I “like”.

While I was working I made certain that I never posted anything or allowed anything to be posted on my site that could be incriminating. I mainly used FB to check on people in general. Now I am retired and it allows me to keep up with contacts I worked with and other associations. I also don’t care anymore what others think.

It really depends on the person and my working relationship with them. I find it interesting when someone I manage friends me. I always accept as I find it interesting what they might post that could get them in an uncomfortable situation.

Most co-workers are not friends.

I don’t want to know that much about people I work with. I do not post much on Facebook.

People wouldn’t accept a workplace contact friend are either taking work too seriously or life too seriously.

I don’t report every detail of my life on Facebook, so it wouldn’t make me uncomfortable.

I stay away from it. Some things just don’t need to go into cyber space.

Being in HR, I feel that it’s best to stay away from Facebook when it comes to my workplace.

It is never a good idea because you never know who is going to see what you post once it is “out there”.

I rarely post on social platforms and keep them as separate from work as possible.

Had an incident where someone I managed, with whom I had been friends outside of work, posted a very negative comment about me. I responded with “ouch.” Things were never the same after.

I avoid including co-workers as Facebook friends, and never include clients. Many former co-workers are among my FB friends, however.

Facebook is a complete waste of time that can only create problems for people using it. Wrecked marriages, strained relationships and problems at work are only a few of the issues created by our over communication on apps like Facebook. Pick up the phone, meet in person…that is how humans should communicate.

I don’t post a lot and I think their intention behind the “friending” should be evaluated.

I think it can help to build relationships with co-workers, but when you do, you might have to be a bit more politically correct about posts.

I feel no need to share every detail of my life with the world so I have never been on Facebook and don’t intend to start anytime soon. I like my privacy.

I don’t talk about work so pretty much fine with anyone friending me if they want to see what I am passionate about in my life!

I prefer to keep my personal and professional life separate.

Don’t like it UNLESS you are friends outside of work–then OK.

I have one current co-worker who is a FB friend and I now wish I had not accepted their request. When I receive these requests, I attempt to politely say “I would gladly accept your request, if either of us ever change our employment.”

In general, I don’t think it’s a good idea to be connected on social media with co-workers or business contacts such as Facebook or Instagram. I do think it’s ok to connect with business contacts through Linked-In, which is strictly business and not personal.

They would be very bored; I am rarely on FB and I almost never post anything.

I make it a point to not mix work with my home life.

It depends on who the co-worker is at that point. If they are known as a malcontent in the workplace or otherwise not respected then it can be a case of guilty by association.

I don’t get on Facebook much and do not friend coworkers. I feel that could lead to all sorts of complications. I do have a couple vendor friends.



NOTE: Responses reflect the opinions of individual readers and not necessarily the stance of Strategic Insight or its affiliates.