Hi, I’m Lauren

Element of Fashion was created to be your hub of style inspiration, whether you need insight on dinner parties, travel musings, or just outfit ideas.

Should You Be Friends on Social Media With People From Work?

Should You Be Friends on Social Media With People From Work?

Element of Fashion uses affiliate links. By clicking on certain hyperlinks and buying a product, you may help me make a small commission from your purchase. It's links like these that keep this site going. Thank you for your support!

Welcome to Women in the Workplace Wednesday! I honestly cannot believe that I’m still doing this series. Don’t get me wrong - I love it; however, I’ve only had 2 series that have lasted for a full year, not counting my Favorites series (which will have been for 3 years in October) and my The Art of Versatility (which has been ongoing for 4 years this summer). WITW will have hit the 365 day marker this May and I am blown away by that. I love writing about topics that actually help you. I love fashion content and will continue to write about it, but I guess I like hitting every aspect of your life - beauty, travel, food, work, and personal, in addition to what you’re wearing.

BB Dakota Floral Education Dress | Marc Fisher Wedges (similar here, cheaper option here) | Senreve Coda Belt Bag with Chain (cheaper chain here, use code ELLEMULENOS for $50 off your Senreve purchase of $300 or more.)


Staying on the topic of technology, a while back one of you suggested the topic of social media and work. Do they mix? I’ll tell you one thing… 20 years ago, people didn’t have to worry about this kind of thing. I guess with the benefit of all the social media and tech we are blessed to use today, comes new issues. Mo’ tech, mo’ problems? Hah!

To be honest, I hadn’t given this much of a thought to this question, because I’ve pretty much had my blog for most of the time I’ve had Instagram, meaning I needed to be a public account. I wasn’t allowed to get Facebook until I was a sophomore in high school. By then, MySpace and Xanga were on the down-trend, so I never had one of those. But as you know for Facebook, you have to add people to be your friend, so I was never really public. I think my page isn’t public for non-friends either, as you do have a choice for that too. I think my Twitter page was always public. No matter the platform, it wasn’t really something thought about back then, because we didn’t really know about the internet being forever.

I think if I didn’t have a blog, all of my social channels would be private and I would be very careful about who I let follow me, including people from work. Regarding my corporate positions and my blog life, I have never really blurred the lines. I worked on my blog at lunch or after hours. I didn’t talk about my blog during hours, unless it as brought up to me. (a lot of of my work friends knew) The boss I had for the longest time since I started my blog (I’ve had 4), never even really knew about my blog. Side story - one time I as traveling with him for work. We were waiting to board our plane back to Texas and one of you came up to me in La Guardia and asked to take a selfie. I loved meeting you and of course said yes! He was so confused and had no idea what was happening. It was hilarious. Anyway, I was never social friends with any of my superiors, except for one and I knew her before starting work there.

  • FACEBOOK: Depending on what you post, I think Facebook is harmless. I wouldn’t add people above you, but adding peers is fine. I’m honestly not sure I would accept friend requests from superiors, unless we had that kind of relationship or I had left the company.

  • TWITTER: I probably wouldn’t accept people on Twitter, because I think that people get weird on that platform. I personally don’t post odd things, but I follow a lot of people who do and it might be weird if their boss or co-workers saw.

  • INSTAGRAM: Like I mentioned above, I probably would be private and not accept people if I didn’t have my blog. There are people who I have become friends with at work and we mutually follow each other. I don’t know if it is because my last bosses were men, but I think it would be really weird if they asked to follow me on Instagram. If they were women, it wouldn’t be as weird, but I probably still wouldn’t add them / accept them if they were my boss. I don’t even post things I care if people see (obviously), I just think there is a line and I don’t want it crossed.

  • TIKTOK: To my knowledge, there isn’t a way to make this private, as the very nature of it is to share videos with the world. I think the younger generation (do I sound old saying this?) realllllly needs to think about what they post on this, since it is so public. Don’t post stuff on here as a 16 year old that you will be embarrassed about later in life, just to be “cool”. #notworthit

  • LINKEDIN: I wanted to mention this social network, because I think it is under-used. When you meet someone, when you interview and don’t get the job, when you leave a company, etc ADD THEM ON LINKEDIN. If you want to add your boss, co-workers, president of your company, on some platform, LinkedIn is the place to do it. You never know what that connection could bring you later on!


  • To add or not to add: If you’re a boss, for sure don’t add your direct reports. If you’re subordinate, I don’t know that I would add your boss, but it’s ok if you do. Just think it through prior to doing so.

  • Don’t fee bad. If you feel bad about not accepting someone, because they’ll most likely figure out that you turned them down, know that you can limit what they see. For example, you can block them from seeing any of your Instastories and only see your feed. Better yet, you can actually make them unfollow you once you’ve accepted them, by bumping them off your follow list. If you wait a little bit, they will probably just think it as a tech error!

  • Be choosy. This is very much a grey area and the lines are blurred. I wouldn’t accept anyone on personal platforms that I didn’t hang out with outside of work, though like I said Facebook is one where I probably would accept even if I didn’t, depending on the person. Ultimately it comes down to trust. You never know how someone might use what you post to get ahead in their career, report to HR, etc. Blackmail is real and people do play dirty. Don’t accept anyone you don’t trust. Seems obvious, but wanted to state it.

  • It’s okay to unfollow. I have thought I’m on the same page with people and then they do me dirty in the workplace and I’m like NOPE. It’s not a petty unfollow - more like I don’t need your negativity in my life. Personally, I treat people the same in and out of the office, but a lot of people don’t. They will go from snapping at me to let’s eat lunch together and I’m like HUH? Just over here nursing the wound you gave me earlier, why would I do that?! I’ve been lucky enough to have co-workers where it is not like that though. Where we have an understanding, may snap, but always apologize, etc. That’s different. We all make mistakes! An example of the opposite is when a girl cornered me and accused me of being a bad peer, because I looped her boss in on an email. I actually looped BOTH our bosses into an email. If you’re embarrassed by that perhaps you shouldn’t have sent the email, you know? All that to say, our relationship was never the same after that. We had actually hung out, outside of work before, so I was very confused, as I would never talk to a friend that way. I never blocked her from my stuff, but I did unfollow her. You do you and don’t feel bad about it in this instance at least.

  • Think before you post. Overall, I don’t think you should be posting anything that you would be embarrassed if your boss saw. My mom always told me never to put anything in writing (or a photo I suppose), that I would be embarrassed if she saw. That holds true today! I don’t think not accepting your boss or co-workers has anything to do with what your posting (though it can). For me it is more about the grey area and boundaries of home and work!

What do you think? Are you friends on social with your bosses or co-workers? The only way I think my answers would shift is if your job is literally social media. Different ball game for sure!

Okay, so before I sign off for the day, I wanted to mention this dress I am wearing. I love that it is a maxi dress with sleeves, so you don’t have to worry about layering it in order to wear it to work. Though a denim jacket would still be super cute over it. I think the wedges I’m wearing go with it super well, but nude flats would also be darling. If you’re wearing it on the weekend, try styling it with white sneakers, for a more on-the-go friendly look. I love that it is a dark floral, so it will actually wear nicely into fall. Would look great with booties! Of course I have to mention my belt bag too. I’m wearing it as a crossbody by replacing the “belt” with a “chain”. So chic and versatile! Grab it for $50 off with discount code ELLEMULENOS.

P.S. If you liked this post, you will probably enjoy these:

How to Remember People's Names

What to Do When you Lose Your Job

Hugging vs Handshakes in the Workplace

Your Rights as an Employee

Click here to subscribe to my weekly newsletter. I recap the week and share recent posts you might have missed!

Summersalt Travel Wear Review

Summersalt Travel Wear Review

Blue Tansy vs. Palmarosa + Mint Beauty Cream

Blue Tansy vs. Palmarosa + Mint Beauty Cream