Social media has made it possible for friends to reconnect and keep in touch in a way that was unheard of years ago. As Jon Hyman, a partner in the labor and employment group at Kohrman Jackson & Krantz, explains in a post on the Ohio Employer’s Law blog, it also has the power to transform work relationships, making it easier for coworkers to bond, or to become enemies.
He discusses an article on Philly.com called “How social media has changed the way coworkers bond,” asking whether “social media has created too much workplace transparency.”
Sites such as Facebook and Instagram allow coworkers to get to know one another in an entirely different way, he says.
However, Hyman advises, “with transparency comes responsibility.” For example, he says, an ignored invitation to a party could escalate into a harassment complaint.
“How much you permit your employees to connect on social media sites will, in part, depend on how much of their personal lives you want leaking into your workplace, balanced against the ease of connectivity and relationship formation,” says Hyman.
Although there is no right or wrong answer, he says it is important to consider the issue, make a decision and communicate it in your social media policy.