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Are you friends with your work mates on social media? Maybe not

Social media on a mobile

Two in five (40%) British workers will never add colleagues on social media.

So says a study conducted by the independent tech retailer eBuyer, which asked 1,000 Brits about their social media etiquette at work, including how long they would wait before adding a new co-worker on social media.

Of the five main social media platforms, Brits were the most reluctant to add colleagues on Snapchat, with over half (51%) admitting they never would, closely followed by Twitter (43%).

At the other end of the scale, Brits are most willing to add new co-workers on Facebook, with less than a quarter (24%) choosing never to send a friend request to their colleagues.  

Notably, male workers are considerably more reluctant to connect online with people from their office. Nearly half (48%) of male workers will never add a new member of staff on any form of social media, compared to just over a third (35%) of women. Instagram is where the genders differ most, with women being 16% more likely to follow a new colleague than men.  

The use of social media during the working day is growing increasingly common, with the ease of access providing a constant temptation. However, many Brits (27%) believe that social media should not be accessed on company time at all.

This belief is most prominent in the cities of Norwich and Sheffield, where just under half (47%) of residents believe colleagues should not use their social media whilst at work.

The top five cities most against the use of social media at work are:

  1. Sheffield (47.4%)
 2. Norwich (47.2%)
 3. Cardiff (41.5%)
=3. Nottingham (41.5%)
 5. Newcastle (40.5%)

When it comes to job seeking, it is important to be conscious of your public social media content, as it can be taken into account by potential employers during any future job searches.

An increasing number of companies are now researching candidates’ social media behaviour prior to interviewing them.

More than four in five (82%) British employers admit to including this sort of investigation in their vetting process for new employees.

With social media activity now potentially affecting employment, it is more important than ever that workers don’t overstep the mark both in and out of the office.

Lee Weymouth, commercial director at Ebuyer, said: “The reach and draw of social media is now greater than ever. With social media being such a powerful tool in helping us connect with new people, it is interesting to see such a high proportion of people reluctant to do so with co-workers. This could be for privacy reasons or an attempt to keep their work and personal lives separate.

“However, it is unsurprising to see that many Brits want to stop people from accessing their social media at work. If colleagues are spending considerable amounts of time on social media, this can have an impact on productivity and therefore the performance of both the individual and the wider business.”

To read Ebuyer’s guide on social media etiquette in the workplace, visit: