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Can office colleagues be good Friends?

By: Yusra Arain

Your best friend has got a new job and now he is your teammate at work. But wait is it really a reason to rejoice? It is often said that when you mix your personal and professional life, things get a little difficult to handle. So, can your workplace attract fair weather friends?

According to the psychologist Adam Grant, fewer and fewer of us have any close friends at work. Friends enhance our lives but it is not always possible to have them in office. Good teamwork and communication in office may seem the start of a valuable friendship but you have to be careful before considering colleagues as friends.

You should not make a mistake of over estimating the friendship of your colleague at work. There are many things you might have in common like having the same boss, hating/loving the boss equally or maybe having same dressing sense, but this shouldn’t be a reason for you to see him/her as your friend.

Similar urges

Your colleague at work is the same as you. Whether it be an urge for recognition in front of the boss, for bonuses, for raise, for promotions and the list is endless. Now, just because both of you are friends, it doesn’t change your opinion towards your work and the aforementioned urges. You would still want the raise, promotion and bonus. Problems arise in case of peers. Subordinates have an innate ability to refrain you from moving ahead, no matter how many times you hang around after office.

Creates room for rumors

When you become friends with a colleague at work, there are chances that you introduce him to your personal life also. Don’t be in haste in revealing your personal issues and plans in front of your office mate. If things go wrong between you two, there will be a huge whirlpool of raving rumors about what you said about the boss, the girls you had a crush on, and all your linens will be washed in public.

Disturbs personal life

Friendship with a colleague will harm your work-life balance. You will end up talking all about office in the office, and now even outside the office. There will be little space left in your life when you devote time to your interests, your acquaintances, and family.

However, I’m not asking you to stop socializing at the work place, having good terms with you colleagues is important for healthy work environment.

Friendship improves work environment

Lunch and tea breaks are more fun with friends around. Friendship benefits employees as stress levels become low one has fun on the job and productivity is enhanced. The best places to work are the organizations which have open and friendly work cultures.

Keep healthy relationships

Maintain a high degree of professionalism and have cordial relations with colleagues. Have a strong work ethic and be true to your work. Stay out of office politics. To properly maintain the relationship, it’s best to keep a fairly low-profile and to do most of your get-togethers outside the work environment.

Be honest

If you are honest in communication about work with colleagues, you can sustain the friendship. You can iron out differences by showing empathy and clarifying issues. Always draw the line by not getting too personal and always maintain ample space for the friendship to thrive. It’s also healthy, not to spill the beans to others in the office, however strong the urge.

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