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Can colleagues be friends?

FYour best friend has got a new job and now he is your teammate at work. But wait is it really a reason to rejoice? It is often said that when you mix your personal and professional life, things get a little difficult to handle. So, can your workplace attract fair weather friends? Or will the political undercurrents run it down?

It’s a little tricky situation as at one point of time you are treading on delicate ground, and in the other you are like soul mates. When friends become colleagues, many often tend to mix up the two. That’s where they go wrong. If you have had a heated argument at work, leave it inside the four walls of your office. Don’t let it affect your personal relationship with the person.

I had a friend in my subordinate. My ideas and thoughts never matched. I wasn’t even satisfied with the way he executed his work and this led to a lot of arguments and fights. Also, he never considered me as his boss so didn’t take my orders seriously which again would lead to a tilt. But once we were out of office we made sure we didn’t carry the differences back home.

Many feel that making friends at office will make the work life enjoyable. Making friends at office for me is very important. It helps me perform better as the atmosphere is very clam and less stressful with people who know and understand you. Bad relationships with colleagues hamper your work and can turn a workplace into a nightmare. Of course you cannot get along with everyone at work and there will be an occasional prickly co-worker, but there’s little you can do about that.

It is easy to end up as friends in an office set up. Most people do not wish to mix their professional and personal life. It’s surprising for me as colleagues are the people with whom you spend the maximum time. So, how can you not turn them into your confidantes?

The reason is cut-throat competition. We are in such a competitive atmosphere that we find it really risky to be friends with someone from our own team. Sharing my personal details or even what I am going through professionally I feel might be used against me. So I consider it ‘safe’ not to have colleagues as friends but I do not mind making friends with people from other teams. Earlier in my professional life I have faced instances where a friend turned foe. Jealousy and nasty behaviour made our relationship sour. So now I make friends at work provided we are from different teams as misunderstandings are inevitable. There is little you can do about frenemies. Whether it’s your friend who is now your colleague or vice versa, one needs to be a tad careful.

Categories: Relationships
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