Whilst having a having a close friend at work can really help boost your morale and make office life much more fun and bearable, getting really close with your colleagues can also have its difficulties. There are no hard and fast rules, but here are a few things to watch out for if you end up becoming besties with your colleagues.
Keep things confidential
Normally you might share everything with your friends, but it’s important to be conscious about how much is appropriate to share. Oversharing could not only breach confidentiality but also put you both in an awkward position back in the office. This is especially key if you are prone to spilling details or engaging in office gossip over a after-work cocktail or two.
Don’t make work your only thing in common
When socialising with work colleagues, it’s easy to get drawn into work talk or office rumours and rants. However spending all your time out of work talking about work doesn’t give you much of a break. Try to limit shop talk to the workplace and look for other ways to spend your time together to make sure that you’re unwinding.
Remain professional in the workplace
Whilst using your connections at work is a great way to get things done and gain support, over playing the friendship card could cause friction with other colleagues, especially if you work in similar parts of the business or happen to be best friends with your boss. Keeping the relationship on a more professional level in the workplace will help to ensure your successes are seen as merit and not a result of your personal friendship.
Don’t exclude others
Even though you and your friends may get on like a house on fire, sometimes such strong relationships can intimidate others and leave them feeling excluded. Be sure to spend time with other colleagues, particularly if you work in a team together, invite others to lunch and build connections with all those people in your team. Plus when the day comes for one of you to change roles, this will make sure neither of you are left feeling like an outsider.
Be honest with each other
When it comes to career advancement things can often get complicated in friendships with colleagues, particularly if you apply for the same job or one of you gets offered promotion. Being honest about your intentions or applications will mean that any competition in the workplace does not impact upon your friendship. While you may be a little disappointed in not getting the job, this way you’ll be pleased for your friend instead.
Written by Hayley Wintermantle.