Are Your Social Networking Practices Workplace Friendly?

Change is constant, especially online. Five years ago, few people were familiar with LinkedIn or Facebook. Three years ago, the same could be said of Twitter. Now, these and other social networking sites have become part of the daily lives of millions of people, even while they are at work.

These Web sites provide the opportunity to connect and share information with friends, family and business contacts. But they don’t provide an instruction manual for using social media appropriately in the office. Is it OK to tweet while at work? Should you post a comment about your boss to your Facebook page? Should you accept a co-worker’s friend request?

Needless to say, there are many gray areas, and some rules of conduct are still in flux. But the following suggestions can help ensure your social networking activities remain suitable for the workplace.

Know the guidelines. According to a recent Robert Half Technology survey, 54 percent of CIOs polled said their firms don’t allow employees to visit any social networking sites while at work. And for those that do permit employee access, the type of access varies, be it solely for business purposes or various degrees of personal use.

Before logging on to Facebook or Twitter, you need to know what your company’s social media policy is. If you’re unfamiliar with it — or are unsure if your firm even has one — ask your manager or a human resources representative for clarification. There can be…


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