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5 Rules for Workplace Friendships

A workplace is a throbbing place where people meet deadlines, rushing targets, working, and chasing career growth. Amongst all these, some colleagues become workplace buddies. When people are significantly driven both my career and personal development, forming healthy relationships at work is crucial. Leading psychologists even say that social relationships at work represent more productive work and overall happiness.

Workplace Friendships

However, there are some rules to follow to form and maintain workplace friendships healthily. At times, these workplace friendships bring challenges that private and social interactions don’t arise. People need to balance personal needs and workplace needs for a good workplace friendship. 

Set Boundaries

It is good to sit and talk with your workplace friend, but ensure not to go so far that it harms workplace productivity. You cannot chit-chat for hours. In the end, distract from your targets and goals and not work.  Schedule a definite time for connection during breaks or lunchtime! Set boundaries appropriately so that the relationship doesn’t sour, nor does your productivity at work. As overtly familiar relationships with colleagues can damage the credibility at the workplace and hamper success and growth. 

Onboard Non-Friends in Work Projects

It is incredibly tempting to onboard friends over at a team assignment. However, you must bring in people who are outside your immediate workplace-friend circle. It helps avoid any groupism and also the persons in the team can be more productive. It also opens up the imagination of the members to methods and approaches outside the typical influence sphere.

No to Office Gossip

This is a crucial point to remember when forming workplace friendships. Employees always worry about office gossip when colleagues and friends group together. It makes other people wonder if you are talking behind their backs. As such, it is essential to never indulge in any form of office gossip. It also negatively impacts the workers’ credibility and creates a wrong impression of them in front of other people in the workplace. If a conversation turns into something negative or gossip, excuse yourself or suggest connecting with them outside office hours.

Treat Every Member Equally

The best way to avoid any issue is to treat every person equally- with care and respect. Lend an efficient listening ear to co-workers, not only to friends when they share ideas and information. Value each individual with equal attention and make them feel good.  If you are a team leader, you might want to have a close friend on the team, which may create an impression that you want to create barriers to the contributions and team members’ productivity. It would be better not to include any friend on the team so that you give equal airtime to every team member. 

Identify Relationship Needs

Organizations are collaboration and a network of people. The better balanced are the relationship between workers, the more productive and organization becomes. Workplace friendships can be healthy and productive, and everyone in an organization is responsible for contributing their part to make a workplace efficient. Though it may sound odd, workers must understand their role and expected contribution to the organization. It makes you prepared for any question and situation in the office.

Also, you can make workplace friends accordingly whom you can rely on for help whenever you want. Additionally, you can even enhance the quality of your resource value in case a colleague needs help. Being aware of your needs and expected contributions will help you form a better relationship at work and offer you an insightful understanding.

Jane Harper
Writer. Human resources expert and consultant. Follow @thehrdigest on Twitter

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