Making Friends At Work: Good Idea or Bad Idea?
Have you ever thought about your work friends? Did making friends at your job come naturally to you, or was it difficult? Do you have work friends at all, or are you a lone wolf?
Whatever your situation may be, making and having friends at work can give you an advantage in your work. However, there are two sides to every story. Workplace friends may also cause some unwanted trouble if you aren’t careful.
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Pro: Work friends can make work more fun.
Having friends at work, those who you can relate to, can make the work you do more fun. This means the day goes by quicker, problems can be minimized, and there is overall less tension.
Fun work also means higher productivity. The more fun something is, the more likely you will be doing more of it.
Con: They can be distracting.
Some workplaces and industries can get away with having distractions. Others, however, can’t.
You may find yourself actually falling behind on work if your work friends are distracting you. If they are more interested in gossip, practical jokes, or surfing the web than actually working, you may have fallen into the wrong group.
Pro: They can provide a sense of unity.
Work friends can provide a sense of unity. You are all working together to achieve a common goal, and even more than that, you are getting along great. It makes everyone involved feel included.
Con: They can easily split into “cliques.”
A kind of behavior reminiscent of high-school, groups of friends can easily split into cliques based on interests or personalities.
This sort of thing can inevitably lead to clashes in workplace behavior. If there are two groups of friends who have different goals and ideas within the same team, it can wreak havoc across the office. It can certainly impact the company’s level of productivity if two sub-groups can work together on something important.
It is important to keep in mind that many people do not share the same work ethic or values that you do. While making work friends can be beneficial to you, be mindful of who you befriend. They may help you succeed or lead you to trouble.