If you're concerned about being friends with the people you work with, relax! Developing friendships in the office is a healthy thing that can benefit both you and your employer. Office friendships have positive and negative points, and should be developed slowly and naturally.
Even when you're friends with a coworker, you should hold back on divulging too much information. Things to keep to yourself include:
- Anything related to money, including salary and financial history
- Sexual history
- Illness or health concerns
- Details of your job performance reports or reviews
As you get to know the people you work with, keep these pros and cons in mind.
- Work becomes a more enjoyable place to go because you feel appreciated and cared about.
- Coworkers "have your back" more than usual because they know you on a personal level. There is less chance for misunderstandings, because the people you work with get where you are coming from.
- A friendlier work environment promotes more creativity. This is true whether your job is directly related to creative pursuits (advertising or art, for example), or whether you are just more creative in how you problem solve. You feel more comfortable being yourself and this allows you to think outside the box.
- Having a friend at work gives you a safe way to vent your frustrations. With an outlet to release your anger, you will rebound quicker when setbacks at work occur.
- Work can become an unprofessional environment. Too much chit chat and not enough focus on the job can get you and your friend in trouble.
- Ironically, having a friend in the office stand up for you can garner resentment from others. Coworkers may feel that you are getting preferential treatment you don't deserve.
- Getting too close with someone at work can mean they know just a little bit too much about you. Do you really want your coworkers to know about your demons or struggles?
- If you think someone is your friend and it turns out not to be true, you could become the victim of sabotage or backstabbing from someone you trusted.
If you become friends with someone at work, remember to keep things professional at all times. Work comes first. It's nice to have a support system with your friend, but avoid playing favorites or spending too much time doing things unrelated to your job. If you keep these points in mind, you'll be able to search out people who can be good friends.