Having Friends at Work

Send Friendship EcardsSteve’s gesture on Intern Appreciation Day surprised me. There is no doubt that there’s a strong bond of friendship between him and his interns. They’ve just started to work in 123Greetings for a couple of months but they’ve gotten along so well together. You can’t tell that from the outside. If you see Steve and his posse hanging out at a bar or in a diner, you’d think they’re Old Pals. But they’re not. Steve is very professional in his dealings with them and they really do good work. The first pat on the back always came from Steve when they solved problems.

Are you friends with your co-workers and your boss? Or even former bosses? There’s a difference between being just colleagues and being friends, your relationship extends beyond the confines of the office. Some people might say that’s not professional and make it a big deal. But for some it’s normal–like I hang out with Donna and Steve outside office. And it’s not always true that a friendship between a staff and his or her boss have to begin from the boss. Friendships aside, if you do your work and you kick butt at it, your boss will always be impressed. You’ll always stand out. At the same time, if you’re the boss, it’s always a pleasant experience when someone higher up extends the hand of friendship to you–like how Donna did with me. You spend more than 9 to 5 in the office, you need to have friends to hang out with, go to lunch, talk, and shoot crap and so on…

Personally, I think having friends in the office lifts up the morale. It’s really important, especially now, when we hear everyday about the recession, the economy, and the layoffs. It really keeps the team spirit alive. There are also dark linings on silver clouds. Don’t take your friend/co-worker for granted. You can’t take liberties with your work just because you had drinks with your boss the other night. (Donna would kill me if I didn’t meet my deadlines! Sometimes I think she’s harder on me because she knows she can push me, and because we are friends.) At the same time, if you’re in the ‘boss’s shoes’ you can’t make your subordinates do your personal errands. I mean, I know a lot of bosses abuse their power and have their interns fetch everything. This is what I really admire about Steve–he never lets them fetch even his coffee. We take turns in the office for that kinda stuff, fetching coffee, picking up lunch or breakfast, and getting the catering done for office parties. There’s no mention of fetching dry cleaning either! Never forget to keep personal things personal and keep your professional nose clean. That way you can always have a great professional work atmosphere and enjoy nights out with friends. We spend most of our time at work, having friends around makes working fun, and more productive.

Are you friends with your boss or employee? How’s that like for you? Let me know and share your friendships through comments below!


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