We could all agree that friendships do a lot in enriching our lives. But what exact role must friendship play in the workplace? Would it be smarter to keep your professional and personal lives separate? Or would it be beneficial to find and build friendships at work?
Pros and Cons of Friendships in the Workplace
According to career and business experts, friendships can have a significant effect on a person's career. A friend at work may help you get a better understanding of the inner workings of your field or organization, offer feedback on your performance, and can give you guidance so you could be more effective at work. Having friends at work can also make your job more enjoyable, and may also help make you more productive and creative.
However, there is always a possibility for workplace friendships to go awry, and when this happens, it can be costly. When you socialize too much, this may impede your productivity. Also, professional or personal information may be exposed to inappropriate people. Cliques may also form, which can lead to negativity, exclusivity, and favoritism.
Can There Be Real Friendships at Work?
Are workplace friendships basically different from other forms of friendships? Well, yes. Your job gives you financial security, of course, and if you are made to choose between keeping a friendship and keeping your job, you are likely to choose your source of income. It is because of the positive and negative effects of forming friendships at work that you will have more at stake when thinking of whether you should or shouldn't enter a workplace friendship. In short, having the right group of friends can help you become better at your job, while being with the wrong group may get you fired.
Making Friends with Your Boss
Is it right for bosses and employees to become friends? Experts explain that friendships between people who are in the same level are the ones that are easier to maintain. There are many problems or issues that may arise when one friend has to evaluate or supervise the other. Also, when you try to make friends with your boss, other employees may easily question your motives. And when your boss befriends you, it's likely that your coworkers will think your boss has a favorite.
How are you supposed to handle friendships in the workplace?
If you ask a personal coach, you will probably be given a few tips. First, you have to be discreet about your friend's confidential information. Always be cautious when divulging information about your job or your friends. If you feel that your friendship is putting you or your friend in a difficult or compromising situation at work, you have to talk to your friend about it. Lastly, know about your company's policy about workplace friendships, and make sure you follow the rules.