Friendships are so crucial to having a happy and healthy life. With most of our week spent at work, coworkers can make some of the best friends. There is always that built-in common interest of work. While the office can help grow your circle of friends, it can make them complicated as well. Boundaries are needed in all areas of our life and are very helpful when it comes to employees.
Don’t be too quick to start sharing your personal lives with everyone at the office. Working together doesn’t mean that you will be great friends. Many different personalities are needed to accomplish all the many tasks companies need to be done. When it comes to making friends at work, let them come naturally. If you start off sharing too much too quickly, you may end up regretting it. When you find those you have a common interest outside of work, it will come naturally.
The biggest mistake you can make in an office is to treat your friends differently from your team’s. Favoritism will never go unnoticed. Once it is common knowledge that you are friends outside of work, others will be watching more closely. With friendships being known, make sure to always keep your choices and reasoning above board and open with everyone. A red flag will be if your friend is asking for work favors because you are friends. Real friends would not put you in that type of situation.
Personal vs. Work
Talk about work at work and talk about personal life outside of the office. Work is not the place to hash out the events of the night before. Your employer is not paying you to gossip with your friends. No matter how discreet you are being, there are eyes everywhere in an office. On the other side, you spend enough time at work don’t discuss it when you are hanging out away from the office. There are more important things to discuss with your friends.
Define Your Role
Being friends and working at different levels can lead to some confusion. Are they telling you to do something as a friend or as your boss? The easiest thing to do is to let them know who you are speaking as in a tricky situation. Either say, “speaking as your friends” or “speaking as your supervisor.” Doing that will eliminate and miscommunications and also help keep the boundaries needed in a friendship at work.
When interacting with coworkers and friends, it is more important to be trusted than to be liked. Everyone has the feeling of wanting to please and make situations easier. It is good to remember that in a work setting, we need to be trusted and respected. Being liked by those in the office is not the same as being seen as loyal. Before acting, make sure of the reason that you are doing it.
Friendships are tricky when the office blurs lines.