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  • Writer's pictureaden sanlano

The Fine Line: Balancing Friendships and Professionalism in The Workplace

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Having friends at work can improve company morale and productivity while reducing work stress and making your daily environment more pleasant. Happier employees who have personal relationships with their team members are less likely to seek employment elsewhere, which improves employee retention and reduces recruitment costs due to turnover. Additionally, friendly relationships promote a less stressful work environment and healthier workers. To maintain healthy and productive relationships, it is important for management and employees to actively manage friendships and prioritize professionalism.

Consider these following tips to manage workplace friendships professionally and respectfully to your own career goals at the workplace.

1. Watch how much you share in the workplace.

Just like in life, most workplace friendships start with small talk. You'll likely meet people with whom you click and feel comfortable sharing details about your life. However, sharing too much with colleagues is a recipe for disaster, which can affect the entire office, affecting productivity and morale. Be extremely careful about what you share with colleagues, even those you consider friends. Remember that you are in a professional environment and avoid sharing personal discoveries, challenges, and sensitive past experiences. Never encourage your colleagues to share information about themselves. Let relationships develop naturally and professionally.

2. Set boundaries with team members who work for you

Although managing friendships between co-workers requires thought and professionalism, friendships with people who work for you pose special challenges. For example, when a director develops a friendship with an employee, he or she may be accused of bias or favoritism. The employee may be placed in an uncomfortable position when others are dissatisfied with him and the relationship may become a source of gossip. In the long run, a friendship that is clearly defined and has boundaries will avoid the risk of favoritism and may even improve communication within the company.

3. Be realistic about the workplace friendship dynamic

When building friendships at work, understand that it won't have the same dynamic as outside the office. Don't expect your co-workers to be your most valuable confidants. Enjoy the company without putting pressure or expectations on the relationship. This helps keep the overall company atmosphere more team-oriented and balanced. It's great to have someone to grab a coffee or lunch break with, but a relationship doesn't have to be more than that. Enjoy having a friend in a potentially stressful environment; Kiss yourself, but look no further. This will also ensure that operations run more smoothly and are not hindered by drama.

4. Stay goal-oriented and prioritize company objectives

When work becomes a social refuge, you risk losing sight of why you took the job in the first place. Your loyalty may begin to be directed toward the people you work with instead of toward your company and career path. This derails the company's overall goals and affects the sense of urgency. Remember that you're all there to serve a purpose, and your friendship may not last outside of the workplace. Stay focused on your career goals and continue to chart a career path that increases your earning potential over time.

5. Speak respectfully about management at all times

While it may sound tempting, bad-mouthing your boss to your co-workers can harm your career goals, earn you negative reviews, or even cost you your job. Additionally, insulting your boss creates a toxic atmosphere in the workplace, which can distract from company goals and reduce productivity. While complaining about your boss is not uncommon, it's important to never cross the line into showing disrespect. Know that negative feelings are often fleeting and that temporary discomfort isn't worth the damage to your career or company productivity. Be careful what you say and who you talk to.

6. Be wary of exploitive workplace friendships

While it's natural to make connections and have people around you at work, remember that the work environment can foster competition. Even if you don't work in a toxic workplace with a strict hiring process, you still need to be wary of people you work with who take advantage of your good ethics. Look for signs that your coworker "friend" is taking advantage of you, such as asking for a series of small favors, taking on extra work, taking credit for your work, and blaming you for your mistakes. Keeping your interactions professional and not allowing anyone to take advantage of you will help keep the company on track and your career on track.

Source : Business News Daily

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