5 Ground Rules for Healthy Workplace Friendships

Are you having trouble maintaining good relations with your co-workers? Here are some tips on how you can maintain healthy workplace friendships. Read more.

For many people, the workplace is like the home where you spend long hours interacting with colleagues like family members while meeting your work objectives. Every organization is simply a network of people. The more balanced your relationships with your co-workers are, the better you perform as a unified team. Are you keeping good relations with your colleagues at the office or do you have your own “clique” whom you are “cool” with and don’t bother with others?

Remember, despite the group’s individual differences, workplace friendships are healthy. Everyone is responsible for doing their part in ensuring people remain happy and content at the office.

Let’s take a look at how you can maintain positive relations for harmonious co-existence;

1. Identify Your Friendship Goals

Be the kind of friend you’d want to have. Nobody likes to hang out with an unfriendly and hostile person. An important part of being around people in an office is the ability to release stress with a little chit-chat to kill boredom.

You’ll feel more secure knowing that you have a network of people whom you can rely on for help with specific issues and vice versa. Once you understand the importance of positive workplace friendships, it becomes easier for you to value your co-workers as assets, not only to yourself but also to your performance at work.

2. Know Your Boundaries

Minor chit-chat with coworkers can lead to significant gains in productivity, you can’t afford to spend the whole day talking and not be productive. What then happens is that, you will fall behind on your targets and drag others along.

You should recognize when social interactions with friends turn into a distraction, ultimately derailing your ability to accomplish your goals. Set aside time to connect during tea break or lunch so that you don’t waste hours you could have been using being productive. You also need to manage boundaries appropriately so as not to appear to be leveraging relationships unfairly or creating an environment of favoritism.

3. Avoid Office Gossip

You may worry about unnecessary hearsay from other coworkers. You even sometimes wonder if some coworkers are talking about you behind your back. It becomes a whole different story especially when it is a manager-employee relationship.

For example, spreading rumours or laughing at coworkers can make the people around you nervous and negatively impact your credibility. If you sense a conversation with your friend is starting to become negative, try to keep things on track by steering the conversation in another direction.

4. Treat Every Member of Your Team with Respect

The best way to avoid being perceived as bias is to intentionally treat each team member with equal care, consideration, and respect. Like you would in your personal relationships, make sure you truly listen to coworkers when they bring up ideas or share information.

It’s crucial to make each individual feel valued by giving them the attention they deserve the same way you would want them to do for you. If you do have a close friend on your team, be careful to avoid any special treatment to that person so as to ensure you give equal time to all team members.

5. Include Non-Friends in Work Projects

It’s natural to want to collaborate with friends when you’re working on any kind of team assignment. On the other hand, it’s also important to put heads together with other people outside of your immediate circle to open you open to even more ideas outside of your typical sphere of influence. Thus, this will help you connect with everyone on your team. It’s okay to join forces with friends, but, make sure you’re including other colleagues, too.

For spending so much time at the workplace every day, it is only natural you want to spend good times with your workmates at the office. The above tips are useful to help you achieve this goal once you stick to them.

Are you happy spending time with your work buddies? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below

Nelly Sadongo-Bawa
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