A survey developed by staffing agency OfficeTeam found that executives have become increasingly uncomfortable being “friended” by business contacts on Facebook. An independent research firm hired by OfficeTeam interviewed upwards of 1,014 senior managers at businesses that hire 20-plus employees.

The research found that more than six in 10 senior managers prefer not to be friended by bosses (68 percent) or their employees (62 percent). This is a significant jump from a survey conducted in 2009 that concluded 47 percent of senior managers are uncomfortable being friended by bosses, and 48 by employees they supervise.

Also, 49 percent of senior managers would rather not connect with co-workers on Facebook, as opposed to 41 percent in 2009.

More highlights from the survey:
Facebook

“People have different comfort levels when it comes to social media, so it’s best not to blanket colleagues with friend requests,” said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. “Along with being selective about who you ask to connect with online, you should always post prudently. You don’t want to share information that could reflect poorly on you.”

OfficeTeam suggests following these rules of the road when it comes to “friending” business contacts:

• Let your bosses initiate contact;

• Check out who else is friends with colleagues, etc., who send you friend requests because they might share your updates with those people;

• Ask in person if it’s OK to send a friend request;

• Review your profile to make sure there isn’t anything you wouldn’t want your bosses, employees, colleagues to see; and

• Take advantage of privacy settings to limit who has access to viewing your content on Facebook.

Readers, do you “friend” your bosses on Facebook? Let us know in the comments below.