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Do's & Don't's of Friendships In The Workplace

Today we review a topic often discussed in an office setting: should you befriend co-workers? Of course any employee seeks a comfortable rapport with their colleagues, but we’d like to shed light on some of the specific situations that arise where you may be uncertain how they affect your professional and personal relationships.

Do: I think there is a difference with being friendly vs. searching or expecting your co-worker to be a “best friend.” While you’re at work: it is more than okay to get to know your co-worker and build a sense of approachable environment.

Don’t: Overshare: as in deep dark secrets to your desk mate. Although we all have days where we need to share or vent--save that for a ten minute phone call or after work drink with your best friend who is not your coworker.

Do: Be conscientious of that “friendly” environment. Your company is paying you to work: be sure to have balance—put priorities of your work projects and continue to stay focused/on task.

Don’t: Spend 45 minutes of your companies’ time/money catching up over coffee talking about your date the night before.

Do: If gossip is an issue in the workplace you are more than welcome to defer the conversation or stay out of it. Common in close-quarters or small firms, office gossip can erode relationships on both personal and professional levels.

Don’t: Gossip about other employees or your clientele you are working with. This creates an “us” or “him against “them” or “her” mentality. Plus it could also be used against you at a later time. It’s best to assume that everything you say in an office can be held against you.

Don’t: We suggest limiting aggressive social time with your colleagues (i.e. going out to the bars). Substances don’t always put us in the best position to remain professional.

We have seen first hand co-workers who ended up being some of our closest friends in life: but the majority of them became a close friend after we worked together. Yes, we shared common interests and had to see each other 40 or more hours a week--but it has always been best outside of work: it’s all about balance: Having someone at work you can be friendly/open with and then being able to leave it at work.

What do you guys think? Let us know!

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