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Employees don’t want the boss as an online friend (São Paulo)

(literally translated from the article of BITKOM: Protected content

• 56 percent would reject friendship request in social communities
• Women rather reject than men do
• Arns: "Accept the employee’s privacy also in the web."

Berlin, 4th of January, Protected content or decline?
This is the question for many employees who get a friendship request of their boss in a social network. The majority of 56 percent would reject such a friendship request according to a survey on behalf of BITKOM. Only 19 percent of the employees who are members of an online-community would certainty accept a request, other 19 percent would probably accept it. However, 36 percent would not add their boss, by no means, as a friend, 20 percent would rather not do it. And only a small minority of two percent has sent itself a friendship request to the boss. „Whether to include the boss in his friend's list, cannot be answered in general with yes or no. The individual circumstances are always to be taken into account“, said Tobias Arns, social media expert of BITKOM. „The one who is on a first-name basis with the boss and goes regularly for a beer with him, will hardly be able to reject him as a friend in Facebook. Before someone accepts friendship requests of his boss, however, he should exactly consider which profile details or entries he may see.“

Women are clearly more rigorous in the refusal, as men. 63 percent would brush-off their superior as an on-line friend, compared to only 50 percent of the men. Between the age groups, the one from 30 to 49 stands out. Only every second of this group would brush-off to the boss certainly or probably. In the remaining age groups it’s more than 60 percent. BITKOM expert Arn asks the superiors for instinct: „Employers have to respect the privacy of their employees, also in the on-line world. Obviously most employees consider friendship requests of their bosses rather as a constraint and less as special honouring. Every superior should be conscious of that, before sending a friendship request.“

Methodology: On behalf of BITKOM the polling institute Forsa asked 1.002 German-speaking internet users.

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