Making friends at work is just as easy as it is at school. After all, when a group sees each other daily, shares many hours, and performs similar tasks, they are likely to open the door to a friendship since they share interests and anecdotes.
In-company camaraderie has positive aspects, both for employees and employers. But some boundaries could affect the performance of those involved and, consequently, the camaraderie.
What are these boundaries, and how can they be respected? And, more importantly, how can you maintain work friendships without harming your role within the company? Let’s look for the answers to the advantages and disadvantages we’ll break down about friendships at work.
Is it OK to make friends at work?
A study exposed by LinkedIn stated that 46% of professionals consider that work friendships contribute to their overall happiness. They argue that they are more motivated, which translates into improved communication and productivity.
With a trusted colleague, burdens are easier to bear, and tensions in the office are relieved. Close ties also enhance participation in corporate activities and generate a stronger sense of belonging since they are friends with a common work purpose.
However, unrestrained socialization sometimes breaks company policies; the effects are reflected in poor performance and potential conflicts that disrupt work harmony. Balancing professional commitment and affinity among colleagues is key to the well-being of the company and its talent.
Benefits of having friends at work
In general, business recommendations allude to limiting working hours exclusively to work. However, it is almost impossible for friendships to arise during assignments.
Yes, prioritizing the company’s objectives is the most important thing from the union’s point of view. But fraternization does not have to be a disadvantage in the office. On the contrary, if you have friendships, you benefit from such advantages.
1. Boost performance
Workers complete tasks in less time, create healthy work habits and encourage group responsibility. Likewise, when you have friends in the office, you perform in a better mood and have more energy.
2. You perceive satisfaction
Being satisfied in an organization goes beyond financial compensation, policies, and obligations. The way you interact with your peers influences the tranquility you find in your work. Human resources that get along well with each other assume the day-to-day with positivism and carry out projects with a better attitude.
3. Improve communication
Many of the problems in companies are the result of poor communication. According to an article published by Ocronos magazine, the company’s progress is complete if the team maintains proper interaction and talks openly. The interrelation of colleagues is a useful way to enhance communication skills, even with clients.
4. Increased trust
Getting along with colleagues builds confidence to perform effectively. As you get to know and share with your colleagues, you gain a more holistic view of their personalities, understand their perspectives, and become more confident in your environment.
5. You have support
Success in the workplace depends, to a large extent, on teamwork. If the group is close-knit and shares knowledge, it is easier to achieve goals. The company notices that the collaboration between its human resources yields convenient results and can promote dynamics that consolidate staff unification.
6. Friends at work reduce stress
HR heads of large corporations, like banks, IT companies, consulting, and CEOs of small businesses, such as a newsroom, essay writing service, or legal help, are usually united in the opinion that friendship with colleagues minimizes and resolves stressful situations at work because they feel listened to, understood, and assisted by people who, apart from being their colleagues, are their friends. This advantage impacts physical and mental health because you do not drag business conflicts to your home.
Disadvantages of having friends at work
Among so much honey spilled, it is also pertinent to discuss the disadvantages. There is a fine line between professionalism and companionship, which sometimes borders on counterproductive for employers, and sometimes, instead of strengthening the friendship, ends up breaking it.
A University of California study looked at the incidences of distractions in the office and found that employees compensate for interruptions by working faster. The price? They experience higher levels of frustration, stress, and pressure to finish on time.
Prolonged chatter during office hours detracts from productivity time or lowers the quality of the office. This is not to say that you should remain silent throughout the day, but make sure that conversations are not a frequent distraction. Take advantage of your lunch break to catch up.
2. Rumor Generation
Rumors may often arise that there is more than just camaraderie. In today’s open and changing world, where friendships between men and women are just as valid as between people of the same gender, comments of this type do not represent a fair perception, much less a pleasant one. In addition to impacting the reputation of those involved, misunderstandings risk spreading to their families.
3. Affecting privacy
Jealously guarding family data and any personal information raises exceptions with friends. You share social networks and talk about extra-work matters that lead to third parties knowing about your life, perhaps more than you planned to reveal.
Chasing a promotion, earning commissions, and standing out for a raise unleashes competitive air. If the basis of the friendship is not clear and the professional and personal spheres are not separated, the competitive environment will be anything but healthy and could end up distancing the team.
Constructive criticism helps to be better, but subjectivity may prevail when your colleague is your friend. The closeness between colleagues is likely to promote impartiality in their evaluations of you, which could slow professional growth.
6. Lack of boundaries
Moving the friendship of the job outside of the job blurs the boundaries that separate the work and personal. For example, by inviting colleagues to dinner at your home, the chances of chatting about the office are high when the idea is to leave work far enough away from home life.
Tips for making healthy friendships at work
Having reviewed the advantages and disadvantages of friendships at work, it is worth summarizing some recommendations for making bonds in the work environment as healthy as possible.
The main thing is to approach those who agree with your interests and respect the limits that this person establishes. Likewise, recognize the efforts of others and applaud the success of colleagues. Do not close yourself. Learn to listen, propose and collaborate whenever the team needs it.