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Should co-workers become friends?

Professional vs. Personal Relationships Professional relationships, however, are different from friendships. Of course, they are both based on the same principles of trust, honest communication,…

Professional vs. Personal Relationships

Professional relationships, however, are different from friendships. Of course, they are both based on the same principles of trust, honest communication, and respect. But a friendship goes deeper. While professional relationships revolve around experiences at the office, friends share personal experiences in every part of their lives. They know intimate details about one another and aren’t afraid to truly let their guard down.

So is it a wise idea to become friends with a co-worker? There are many different opinions out there but generally speaking, most people agree that it’s best not to create strong friendships at work. The reasons are plentiful. Consider the consequences of a bad personal conflict on your working relationship. An argument that takes place outside of the office can negatively impact your professional interaction. Even if you don’t initially foresee the possibility of such office conflict, these things happen when people let their guard down.

Problems with Frienships at Work

Spending time with co-workers outside of work presents a different range of problems as you get to see another side of each other’s personality. You may discover things that make it difficult to continue respecting the other person at the office. You may find yourself bringing personal feelings into professional situations.

Once you’ve created a friendship outside of work, the professional relationship typically changes as well. The added comfort allows for less care to be taken. Friends who work together often feel they can slip things by each other because their friend will cover for them. They may think that they deserve special favors due to their friendship. If one person is (or ends up) in a position of higher authority, a conflict of interest may arise if others feel the friendship is impacting the team, causing one person to get special treatment.

Are Friendships at Work a Good Idea?

In an effort to maintain a positive long-term working relationship, it is a good idea to avoid creating strong friendships with co-workers. Keep the relationship professional and at the office. In the future, if the situation changes, a friendship should definitely be pursued. For now, focus on the job and building a productive working relationship.

Culed from MSN.com