Friendships at the office

Posted on September 4, 2018 at 6:00 PM

If you are lucky, you do not hate your co-workers. In fact, if you are really lucky, you probably like them a lot, and maybe you even want to turn the relationships into full-on friendships. After all, you see these people all day, every day, so it only makes sense you want to take it to the next level. But before that, there are some things you need to consider. There can be some downfalls to office bonds, like distractions, favoritism, gossip and rivalry.

  1. Do not push the boss-employee relationship

    No matter how much you and your manager have in common, and how much fun you have together, they are still your boss. This does not mean you can’t talk about non-work stuff or spend time together outside of the office - it just means you have to be a bit more aware of what you choose to discuss. You need to remember that you want this person to respect you and that a few, small choice comments can destroy respect all too quickly.

  2. Do not overshare

    It is helpful to have someone in the office you can confide in. But set limits on what you reveal. Workers can be quicker to label someone in the office as a friend, when outside of work, a person with the same relationship might be seen as an acquittance. Keep in mind that any shared information could be used against you down the road.

  3. Respect boundaries

    Personal conversations are going to happen at work. But be aware of people's workloads and schedules. The fact that you have friends at work means you are spending more time on non-task related activities. That is good from an energy-boost perspective. But if you do not manage it well, it can be distracting. If you feel yourself being pulled into a deep conversation that you don't have time for, do not be shy about speaking up.

  4. Do not gossip

    This is not high school. Do not talk bad about your colleagues. If someone is sharing information you do not need to know or is too private, it is okay to shut it down in an appropriate manner. Be polite and honest. You can just say: 'This conversation is making me uncomfortable and I appreciate you trusting me with this, but I am not the right person to share this with.'