Work place friendships

Tips to help you manage friends at workplace (Getty images)

Work place friendships can definitely make your job more enjoyable and can even enhance your productivity, helping you advance in your career. While having a pal at work boosts performance and fulfills your emotional needs, one needs to be cautious to distinguish between a 'friend' and an 'affable coworker'. Being friends with deceitful colleagues can even cost you your job.
So, how can you keep an appropriate distance from your colleagues without coming across as callous? Here are some tips to help you manage friends at workplace and sustain positive friendships...

Set boundaries

No matter how 'trustworthy' you think your friends at work are, it is better to play safe when it comes to disclosing personal details or confidential business information. While it's absolutely fine to hang out with your pals at work, share a drink or go out shopping, being too chummy with your colleagues can pose a serious threat to your job. Your reputation at work does matter. So, it's best to keep a 'professional distance' with workplace friends.
Amit, a media professional relates, "What could be better than the presence of your friends at your workplace? Friends make it easier for you to work in an efficient manner. I have had friends at my workplace who have helped me with their valuable advice and offered emotional support to me in difficult times. It is a blessing to find a friend in your colleague, but at the same time, you need to set boundaries in a professional environment."
Expert tip: Divya Joshi, an HR professional with a multi-national company in Delhi says, "Having a pal at work can be a boon if you strike a balance between work and friendship. But it can also create discrepancies if you are overtly friendly with your boss or vice versa. It is necessary to draw the line where necessary and separate professional commitments from personal relationships."

Respect your friend's privacy

While friends may serve as sounding boards and empathise with work related problems, it is vital to respect your friend's privacy. It may be normal to give suggestions regarding work or personal life - but only as long as your friendship doesn't affect your compatibility at work and interfere with your pal's privacy. Learn to observe situations in which your opinion is welcome and stay mum when required.
Abhay Mishra, an IT professional agrees, "Yes, I think it's very important to give each other space in a relationship. I had a friend in office who interfered with my work, giving suggestions even when it was not required. Although he did it in a good spirit with an intention to help me, it began to irk me after a couple of months and affected my friendship with him."
Expert tip: "Professional friendships need to be handled with much more care than friendships outside of work. It is necessary to curtail yourself from interfering in your colleague's privacy. Offer advice only when asked for, as conflicts can affect your relationship at work. Remember that you have to work together irrespective of your personal differences," explains Divya.

 source :Times of India

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