Facebook's role still evolving in the workplace

It’s well-known that most employees have a dozen or more different accounts inside a big company. For example there is your Active Directory account, your Oracle expense account, SalesForce accounts, and so on and on. And those same employees, outside of work, often have another whole other set of Social Media identities. Facebook. LinkedIn. And for those of us who like our interactions in 140 characters or less – Twitter. Social Media is still new enough that the proper etiquette continues to evolve. For a while it may have been proper to keep work connections to LinkedIn and family/friends to Facebook. But that has certainly blurred as, for example, Facebook has more granular privacy controls for just these kinds of interactions (telling friends about that party Friday night but shielding it from family/co-workers). Or we all have that FB friend that shares too much and we wish WOULD use some privacy controls. But I digress. Now new etiquette topics include ‘should I FB friend my CEO’? Or substitute CEO for any executive title that makes sense to you. If I don’t send a FB request and my peers do, will I stand out? Should you only send a FB friend request if you meet the executive live? Should a CEO/executive even accept the FB friends request?

But it’s not just Social Media etiquette that’s evolving. As Social Media matures and gets more complex, it will continue to bump into corporate ‘enterprise identities’. It wasn’t long ago a number of stories circulated (across Social Media, of course) about employers that required potential candidates to supply their FB password as part of the interview process. And they weren’t just rumors, the practice has the attention of members of the US Senate. By my unofficial poll of online comments it would seem most consider this practice outrageous. But even if you were hired without giving up your FB password, it’s almost assured your company has published some type of ‘acceptable guidelines for using Facebook in the workplace’. Have you read them? Do you know what is expected of you when updating Facebook at work vs. doing it at home?

Inside the enterprise that are any number of complex policies created and enforced to control what our various corporate accounts can access. Could you picture a scenario where the ‘corporate policy engine’ wants to look at Facebook information for help in making a policy decision? Impossible? I wouldn’t say impossible, just complicated. For now, at least when it comes to what I can do at work, let’s just be glad that what happens on Facebook stays on Facebook.

Anonymous