By: Natasha Archary
Building strong friendships with colleagues can be a healthy way to keep office stress levels low. On the flip side, the friendship can sour which could affect the work-life balance, making things awkward.
Midday Joy listeners shared their views on forging friendships at the office and many felt it wasn’t always a good idea.
As one listener shared, it’s often the people closest to you that will throw you under the bus in the work environment. If it means getting ahead themselves, you will easily become collateral damage in the process.
Friendship generally means nothing in business where it’s every man and woman for him/herself. It is for this reason that most in the corporate environment choose to keep office encounters at a superficial level.
Not because they are trying to avoid befriending their work colleagues but because they are cautious and treading lightly.
There’s also the nagging suspicion that colleagues want to exploit information from you.
Listen to what Midday Joy listeners had to say about friendships with colleagues:
Pros of becoming friends with colleagues
While the advantages to maintaining close relationships with colleagues there are equal disadvantages, so weigh up the options before you form work bonds.
- Trust – Being friends with colleagues creates a trustworthy office space. Trusting the people you work with in integral to effective collaborations.
- Productivity – Friendships with colleagues can create a fun office environment. Engaging with the people whose company you enjoy can help improve productivity levels.
- Communication – Friendships with colleagues can develop your communication skills.
- Job satisfaction – How happy you are at work relies on a number of factors and company culture is one of those.
Cons of being friends with co-workers
Depending on the environment you’re in, there are some reasons office friendships can be a bad idea.
- Competition – In competitive business environments where there are performance rewards such as promotions, commissions or increases, sabotage and conflicts may arise. While healthy working relationships entail celebrating the successes of others, this isn’t always possible. This is especially true of ambitious professionals who have a competitive streak.
- Distractions – Productivity in a deadline driven environment may be affected as time spent catching up with work friends may impede daily tasks.
- Invasion of privacy – Many people value their privacy and don’t share details about their personal lives. Becoming friends with colleagues opens up the platform to engage with each other on social media, something not many are keen on.
- Mistrust – Sharing of privileged information may test boundaries and increase unprofessional interactions.
Also read: Kaya Drive: What to do when colleagues beef