Working friends: do they work?
A workplace typically involves a bunch of people who have to meet one another on a daily basis. While it may be theoretically true that one simply needs to come into the office, work, and go back home, without having to communicate with others on anything but a professional level, most of us know that its next to impossible to not hold conversations with the people one gets to see on a regular basis . It comes out as a natural instinct, to approach people, and often conversations spark up, which invariably leads to a friendship of sorts. But how negative or positive is this? How far should the friendship extend? Should one be friends with their colleagues, imperative of the fact that they have to work with these people?
It’s good to have friends at work. Even if one does not get along with anybody, maintaining cordial relationships with a few people is a very smart, as well as a diplomatic move, since if problems break out, apart from the official proceedings, it’s always smart to have people backing you up, and taking your side. Therefore, being rude to colleagues, or making your displeasure apparent to them is never a good idea.
While indulging is gossip is a guilty pleasure, and it’s very hard to keep track of when one has gone overboard, in the workplace, knowing what is going on, is quite important. Dirty little secrets might not be the way to go about it, but gossip sends information from the higher rungs of the office, to the lower ones. And one should at least keep abreast of what kind of decisions are being taken in the office, and why.
Getting too close and comfortable with colleagues, though, can have its repercussions. The formality which is necessary at a workplace gets hampered, which in turn hampers productivity. Indulging the juniors beyond a point might prevent you from doling out some tough love to them when they need it the most. Getting very close to colleagues also means the spilling of secrets, and that is a very risky thing to do. You never know when the information can be used against you, and when it might hamper your reputation. Thinking carefully is always prudent, when being asked about your personal life by your co-workers.
The difficult people in the office need to be tackled with as much tact as the friends. When someone is being particularly nasty to you, do not fly off into a rage all at once. Also, do not rush to your boss to complain at the drop of a hat. Be calm and patiently hear the other person out. When they try instigating you, try not to rise to the bait, since ultimately, you’ll be the one projected as the more mature individual if you stay put.
Being friends with colleagues, therefore, can have both positive and negative reactions, depending on how well you can handle the relationship, and not get too swayed by anything.