hand touching virtual screenA report on a new survey from Fierce, Inc. indicates that employees mixing Facebook with their professional life can risk their job security and workplace relationships. The survey found that nearly one-third of employees were aware of a co-worker who had been reprimanded for Facebook posts deemed inappropriate for the workplace. And with 40 percent of employees engaging in behaviors such as social media gossiping and flirtation, many are also putting their professional reputations at risk.

In addition to potentially affecting the reputations and jobs of its users, Facebook was found to be ineffective at improving work relationships, an opinion agreed upon by 51.1 percent of survey respondents. Of that 51 percent, 16.3 percent also said that sharing opinions on Facebook leads to the loss of respect for coworkers. The survey uncovered other key data regarding Facebook and its affects on the workplace, including:

• 53.2 percent of workers are uncomfortable accepting friend requests from managers

• 17.9 percent are made uncomfortable by the sharing of personal information by coworkers

• 22.6 percent state that Facebook decreasing their productivity

“Organizations should think very, very carefully about forbidding any communication or potential team-building tools in the office, whether it be Facebook, sports fantasy leagues, or political conversations,” said Halley Bock, CEO and president of Fierce, Inc. “Forward-thinking organizations should hold exploratory conversations with employees to gather diverse perspectives on using Facebook at work, then establish clear guidelines which hold employees able to access the network appropriately.”

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