Skip to main content

Are You "Hiding" A Few Co-workers On Facebook?

The third annual Weber Shandwick/Powell Tate/KRC Research incivility poll finds the majority of Americans dislike the current state of our political discourse. Yeah, I can see that, especially in an election year. But what do we think about civility in the workplace? Now this is where things get interesting.

First, the good news. This year's online incivility poll of 1,000 adult Americans tells us that workplace incivility is on the wane, with fewer people in the poll reporting it. In last year's civility poll, 43% had experienced incivility at work compared to 34% in this year's survey. Maybe all of the troublemakers have been laid off? Anyway, yay! Go America! Fly the friendly skies!

Now, for the bad news. We're taking our incivility into cyberspace instead. Cyberbullying is all the rage these days, and it's not just for teenagers anymore. Why bully a co-worker in person when you can unleash a torrent of misspelled snark on Facebook or Twitter? It's happening, people. And with a whole new generation of cyberbullies gearing up to enter the workforce, it could only get worse.

But don't get too depressed, because this year's Weber Shandwick/Powell Tate/KRC Research incivility poll reports that we Americans are less likely to take online incivility sitting down. No, we're standing up for ourselves by pressing the "delete" button. More than one-fifth (23%) of us have quit our jobs over incivility, but more than one-third (39%) of Americans have recently "de-friended" or blocked someone online.

Clicking "yes" on the are you sure you want to do this?? button on a social media site raises a very 21st-Century management question, though: what should managers do when an employee de-friends, blocks or "hides" the co-workers they find to be rude, obnoxious or uncivil? De-friending and blocking are very public cyber-responses to a fellow co-worker, but "hiding" a co-worker so that you don't have to read her sarcastic comments and useless insights is a down-low way of standing up for oneself on the job. This way, an employee still looks like she's striving for a sense of cyberteamwork even if she can't take any more of a co-worker's subtle cybersnark, boasting and/or bullying. Yes, I'm sure I want to do this! I now hide you in the name of sanity.

Of course, hiding co-workers or outright de-friending them could lead to productivity losses in a time when employers are asking employees to join social networks for teamwork and astroturfing purposes. Employees are just one, big, happy cyberfamily these days, and it's all fun and games until someone doesn't get the "urgent" memo written in 140 characters or less. What do you mean you didn't know? So-and-so wrote a status update about it!

You didn't know because you're hiding this co-worker's updates because she's a mean, rude, uncivil you-know-what and the Howard Beale in you just couldn't take it anymore. So you've dropped her from your network, sort of. It's a good thing you're finally on the same page now so the project can get done, eh? Oh, come on now. Don't hide your joy.


Popular posts from this blog

Seven tips for dealing with a jealous coworker

Look at you, doing so well at work! We're so happy for you. Well, most of us are happy for you and refuse to spend the entire work day talking behind your back. Let's talk about how to handle our jealous co-workers!Like every other professional, you've no doubt experienced your share of failures and successes. Lately, however, things seem to be going your way at work. And how! Perhaps you've managed to ace an important project this quarter, been instrumental in landing a huge client, earned some well-deserved rewards for this and that, or -- egads! -- been given a slight promotion or additional work responsibilities (e.g., the work responsibilities you actually want).You're quietly chuffed, but somehow your co-workers seem none too pleased with this rapid turn of events. Oh no, what should you do now?It's a workplace tale older than the disjointed last season of Mad Men. The playing field in the department was even, cozy and overall very friendly -- until so-an…

Employees Blame Technology For Slowing Them Down At Work

Do you feel like you're always working, but never getting very much done? If so, you're not alone. Too much technology, and too much red tape, keep slowing us down at work. But technology, and more of it, is supposed to make our lives easier! Too much technology, however, does not compute for employees. A new SAP/Knowledge@Wharton survey of almost 700 corporate employees finds a full 60% of respondents blame technology "for inhibiting their ability to meet strategic goals." Gee, anyone who has ever used the self-checkout line at the grocery store can tell you that. However, 40% surveyed said that looking for ways to simplify the technology has been "a low priority" for their company. Too much paperwork is an on-going problem for the workplace, too. A new ServiceNow survey of nearly 1,000 managers finds that 90% are doing too much administrative work, no matter the size of the company. This paperwork includes filling out forms, writing status updates, …

Is Your Co-worker Always Late For Work?

You've started the workday, but where is your co-worker? Oh, she's running late again, just like yesterday. And the day before. And the day before that. Let's get an early start on solving her tardiness problem, shall we? Working with someone who is consistently late is one of the most annoying aspects of office life, and also one of the most common, unfortunately. It's a universal theme of the workplace that everyone will get to work on time (give or take a few minutes...) except for the employee who is egregiously late nearly every day. And the excuses can get pretty amazing. Employees became more punctual as the Great Recession lingered, at least according to surveys. Everyone, that is, except for your able-bodied but habitually-tardy co-worker. It's bad enough dealing with tardiness when you're a manager, but it can be even more frustrating when you're a rank-and-file peer without any magical "shape up or ship out" managerial powers. So you…