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Coworker or Friend: Determining Work Relationships

The relationship between co-workers can sometimes be a little difficult to comprehend and understand. Are you friends, or are you just working, living and breathing within the same space? You may have hit it off with a colleague but due to the situation you are both in, you are worried that a friendship will appear unprofessional. You want to get into someone’s friend zone, but you are unsure how to. If you get along well with one of your fellow colleagues, be friends, but be sure always to remain respectful with them at work, and never take advantage of their power at work. To be work friends, you should act professionally around your coworker friend.

Positive Workplace Relationships Start With Professionalism

It is imperative that you are respectful with your coworker friend at all times in the office. Out of the office, you may laugh at inside jokes and co-worker friends’ quotes, or spend hours watching films together drinking beer. However, it is crucial that you treat each other as professionals at work.

Yes, they may be your friend, but not at the office. If something happens in your life that you need to discuss, do not interrupt their work. You can wait for your coffee break or lunch break for that.

Build Positive Relationships in the Workplace

When it is a co-worker friend’s birthday you want to be respectful to them, work is not the time for partying. Instead, you can quickly and respectfully give them a small gift or birthday card to wish them the best. If you are good friends, then later, you may be invited to a proper birthday bash, but this shouldn’t converse at the office.

Just because you are friends doesn’t mean you can use special privileges at work. Do not ask your co-worker friends to do anything for you that is out of their power. If you attempt to take advantage of your coworkers’ abilities, you will soon find that you will be making enemies instead of coworker friends who are a lot better to have.

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Respect Personal Space With Office Relationships

When saying goodbye to a colleague friend at the office, do not hug your friend goodbye in the office. Showing unnecessary affection can be disrespectful to your co-workers and a little awkward regarding saying goodbyes. If you are close friends, then you can wait until you leave the office together.

If you are close friends, then no doubt, you will see your friend outside away from work another time. If your job together is over, you no longer have to worry about the pressure of treating your friend as a coworker at the office you can become proper friends. However for just another one of your work buddies, the best way to say goodbye to your coworker friend is to give them a farewell letter. Make it obvious you are still thinking of them but in a very respectful manner.

When there is a company event or office party, be sure to remember that you are in the presence of your employers and co-workers. Although you may not be on working hours, it is still true that you should behave with your coworker friends the way you would normally do at the office, rather than in your own spare time. Do not consume too many alcoholic beverages during office parties or events and treat all your co-workers with respect.

Should Work Relationships Extend to Facebook?

Another question to consider is whether you will be friends with your colleagues on Facebook. Adding your co-workers on Facebook could be a slight breech of etiquette. However, we do not see any problem with adding co-workers on Facebook as long as you aren’t Facebooking each other on Facebook during work hours.

The difference between friends and co-workers is that there is a lot more restrictions with your co-workers during working hours, you may treat them how you wish, but as we have seen from the examples above being in the coworker friend zone comes with a certain amount of complication. You can still be friends with your colleagues; you are expected to behave in a proper manner towards them which is imperative for a healthy work life. However some of the friends you meet a work can be friends for life, and can help you in a variety of different ways to live a happy social life which can be vital.

Now that you have read our views of being friends with your co-workers what is your opinion, do you find these tips at all helpful, or do you think that they are too restrictive concerning relationships with your coworkers? Or you may believe that they are not restrictive enough for employees who may spend to much time being friendly to work efficiently. Please feel free to let us know what you think, about whether there should be more or fewer restrictions on employees and the importance of the relationship between themselves and their co-workers.

Coworker or Friend: Determining Work Relationships
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