My Boss, My Facebook Friend

Are you friends with your boss on Facebook? That may depend on your age and how much you are online, according to a study by Minneapolis marketing firm Russell Herder.

Using the firm’s social media research tools and analysis, Russell Herder conducted an online survey of nearly 1,000 U.S. residents, finding that age, gender, and frequency of social networking usage influence attitudes and behaviors regarding the decision to connect with one’s supervisor online.

The study found that 21 percent of employees — especially those in younger age categories — are friends with their supervisor on Facebook. Let’s hope they mind their manners once they are being watched, unlike this lady.

Can’t decide whether to click “accept” on a supervisor’s friend request? There have been career advice articles on this very subject. After a personal friend  had a new employee call her a “bitch” on Twitter, I am of the school of “No Good Can Come From It.”

The next bit of information may be surprising: It’s men, not women, who more often connect to the boss. The research found that men are more likely to believe being friends with management on Facebook enables them to do their job more effectively.

The study also found that Facebook users ages 18 to 34 are much less likely to believe that it is inappropriate to friend their supervisor on the social network compared to those 55 and over. Additionally, those who use Facebook the most frequently are more likely to be friends with their supervisor.

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