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Two Women Using Digital Tablet at BarSometimes it can be a fine line between professional and personal but how do you know when it’s an ok situation to cross that line? Can you even cross the line? If you do, there’s no going back, right?!

I’m not talking about romantic relationships here (we’ll save that chat for another time!) but some workplaces foster strong friendships, whereas others have employees who tend to stick to themselves.

It can make your day really enjoyable if you get along with your colleagues and if you do see them as in your “friend-zone”. You spend so much time at work so you want it to be a happy environment, you can get a lot out of it by seeing your co-workers as mates.

Here’s some advice on working your way through the web of workplace relationships!

Your Environment
Typically, it does depend on your company environment and culture. Is there time for a bit of chit chat in the office? Do others all hang out together at lunch? These factors can affect whether you keep work relationships as just that.

Save the Gossiping for Out-of-Work Hours
You of course shouldn’t be using work time to gas-bag – you’re there to do your job. But if you find you have a colleague in particular that you’re always wanting to talk to, go out for a drink or lunch together and you can have your catch-ups then.

Adding Your Colleague on Facebook
Some people think this is a big no-no. I think it depends on your situation – and goes back to that first point on the office environment. It also depends on what you’re putting on your social media pages (if you’re posting snaps of doing body shots at that party in the weekend, it’s probably not a good move). I personally have my colleagues on Facebook and find it’s a nice way to build more of a relationship with them – you’re letting each other into your personal lives.

Being the Manager
Being friends with your colleagues can be great and lead to many benefits but if you’re a manager or if you get a promotion that might see you managing your friends, you need to make sure you can still dish the orders and be taken seriously. It’s something to keep in mind that whilst you can be mates, you still need to be professional at work.

Meeting Other People
Be-friending a colleague can be a great way to meet new people, particularly if you’ve moved to a new area for the job. So don’t be shy to organise an out-of-work catch up.

Having Space
You are spending a lot of time with your colleagues (all day five days a week) so make sure you’re giving yourself a break and a chance to hang out with other people too.

When Alcohol is Involved
A big past time is the good ol’ Friday work drinks, which is a great opportunity for a social catch-up and to break out from just talking about work. Some (more than others) do need to be careful about their consumption rates here. Remember, at the end of the day, you work with this team so do you really want to embarrass yourself or say something that you can’t take back? Have fun but be sensible.

Are you friends with your colleagues? If you’ve got anything to share please don’t be shy – you can write your thoughts in the comments below!

Laura is the Founder & Editor of The Workher. She is an award winning Public Relations professional, who loves blogging about surviving and thriving in the workplace as a young woman.

4 comments on “Can you be friends with your colleagues?”

  1. I am friendly with my colleagues and do enjoy a Friday night drink however I do like to keep my weekends for my other friends! I did however meet my man by working in an office 😉 Some food for thought.

  2. I’ve met some of my best friends at work! But have also drifted away from a couple when it became harder to separate work and friendship issues.

    I also met my bf at work – that is a different story

    • That’s cool Sam! But sorry to hear some friendships didn’t work out – I guess that’s where we see it’s a fine line, right. Very exciting that you met your man at work tho..!

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