(Closed) Should you be friends with coworkers?

posted 7 years ago in Career
  • poll: Is it appropriate to be friends with coworkers?

    Yes, always

    Yes, if you are peers

    Yes, provided there is no reporting relationship

    No, never

  • Post # 32
    Member
    919 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: April 2014

    I don’t seek it, but if friendship comes from coworkers I don’t try to avoid it. Right now my coworkers are so close, they are my second family. We go out to dinner, leave work early to go to the lake, and do fun stuff all the time. It makes work a lot more fun, but also makes me extra sensitive about work stuff because I take things really personal. I find myself seeking approval from my bosses like some people would their parents 

    Post # 33
    Member
    34 posts
    Newbee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    no, never (my personal opinion). The furthest I’ll go is ‘facebook friends’ with a handful and even that I’m not overly into. 

    I work with some fantastic people (98% male environment) and I don’t think it’s professional to be anything but co-workers with them. 

    Post # 34
    Member
    9129 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

    @MrsPanda99:  I can be friendly but I cannot be friends with my co-workers because I review employee files for termination. Being friends with anyone I work with might affect my judgement should their job come up for termination. My work life as a result is quite lonely. 🙁

    Post # 35
    Member
    15136 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2011

    I wouldn’t go out of my way to be friends with anyone at work, but if we click and gravitate toward each other during work and become close, I’d roll with it.  I wouldn’t rule out hanging out with someone just because I worked with them.

    Post # 36
    Member
    1924 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    Everywhere I’ve worked I’ve been friends with my co-workers.  Now I’m a teacher, and my co-workers are among my best friends in the area.  In fact, I’m going over to a co-worker’s house for brunch in a couple of hours with other co-workers!  I think it’s different for teachers (maybe) because I don’t actually see them all day, just on breaks or at meetings.  We’re all in our 20s and 30s, and we work crazy hours… It just makes sense 🙂

    Post # 37
    Member
    1489 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    Some of my most recent really awesome friendships have come out of being coworkers with each other.  One of my bridesmaids was even a coworker of mine!  

    I loved the friendships that evolved out of my last working environment, a lot of people “clicked” in ways that survived the eventual closure of the company’s office.   We’d all go out on a GNO at least once a month (originally girls nights out, and then recoined as “gender neutral outings” so no one at work felt excluded). I actually rather miss working in an office like that, as it was such a great group of people, and I really miss the social interactions.  For what its worth, we were all essentially peers of each other.

     

    Post # 38
    Member
    368 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: November 2000

    @MrsPanda99:  

    I’m friendly, but not friends. I like aspects of my life to have clear deliniations. Work stays there when I clock off, unless there’s a leaving-do or an official Christmas party. Then I put in an appearance, as to not do so could actually hurt my prospects.

    (In relation to other posts of mine, I am currently unemployed but this is the exception not the rule. Just put the above in present tense as it added clarity)

    Post # 39
    Member
    561 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    Many of the events I attend are outside of work but work-related.  It’s impossible to not see my coworkers outside of these activities.  We also attend a lot of happy hours.  And I go out with my coworker so much she’s in my wedding.

     

    We work long hours.  We have a lot of stress.  It is just so much easier to work with friends.  I’m not saying we have to share every damn thing wiht one another, but if I didn’t have the other young attorneys as friends, I’d enjoy work a hell of a lot less and a lot of things would bother me a hell of a lot more.

    Post # 40
    Member
    52 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    I don’t like mixing my work life with my home life. It’s too much like taking work home with me. In my current job, I’m quite chatty and friendly with people but I make no attempts to socialise beyond my workshifts with the exception of one or two occasions where I’ve been badgered into it by certain pushy co-workers. One such co-worker latched onto me from her first day and keeps referring to me as her “best friend” which I find somewhat disturbing to say the least. She’s always the first to pester me to go to on nights out with the work force, and telling me I need to get together with her and her SO for dinner. What I need is to be left alone to get on with my work. there are one or two people that I sometimes think I would hang out with outside of work, but this woman is not one of them.

    My mother has a much different approach. She’s been at her workplace for 20+ years and has grown close to a few of her co-workers and really did find herself a best friend there. She’s like another aunt to me. Laughing

    Post # 41
    Member
    935 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: February 2014

    @MrsPanda99:  I’ve been at my place of employment for over 8 years and some of my very best friends are some nurses that I work with.

    I’m 31 but my 3 really good friends are 44, 47 and 51.  I also have a few friends that are my age from work as well.  I can’t imagine my life without them!  I’m glad I made the decision to take things to a social level with many of my coworkers.

    Your gut will usually tell you when to shy away from certain co-workers.

    Post # 42
    Member
    2087 posts
    Buzzing bee

    Since I am long out of school, work is really the only place/opportunity I have to make new friends! So I pretty regularly make friends with my co-workers.

    That said, it can and has caused problems. If I am promoted above them, my friends tend to not treat me like a boss. On the flip side, if a friend was promoted, I’ve had other co-workers think that I am getting special treatment because of our friendship. 

    Post # 43
    Member
    2890 posts
    Sugar bee

    I’m still friends with a few ex-coworkers. I see nothing wrong in that, just like I see nothing wrong with dating at work. We’re adults, it’s our responsability to make sure our choices and relationships do not influence our professional life negatively. If you feel you can’t keep things separate if you become friends with coworkers, then don’t develop friendships, it’s your choice. But it’s not ”inappropriate” to have friends at work.

    I consider very important to at least display a friendly attitude at work. My workplace has to be a welcoming environment and I try to make it friendly to other people too, because we spend so much time there that I simply can’t imagine having a career in an environment filled with unfriendly and indifferent people. I believe we can get way better as a team if we take time to get to know each other, our weaknesses and strenghts, and use it to achieve common goals at work. I’m receptive to people who do not just put on their business face on and expect me to just do the job. A good workplace for me is a workplace where I can feel accomplished, not only on a professional level, but also on a personal level. It’s building trust relationships with people, and it’s also being there for each other. 

    Post # 43
    Member
    692 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: March 2013

    I don’t think there is a clear answer, but the most important thing is that you understand what you are opening yourself up to, and that you keep your eyes peeled. 

    I bonded with a co worker over the last few months because we were in the process of adopting and she is an adoptive mother. She is older than me, and her son is now in his 20’s, while my son was about to be born. Long story short, out of nowhere we got this email that “Debbie” was no longer employed by our organization. She had worked there for 18+ years. It was shocking to everyone. We then realized she had been fired.

    So now I’m in this awkward position because Debbie is a sweet lady, but she has a bad taste in her mouth for being fired, while I absolutely love my job and the non profit organization I work for. I am so loyal and devoted to my employer. It’s way more than a job for me (as it was for her before all this went down).

    I live in a small town and people talk. I have to now keep the balance of being a friend, while also making sure people don’t mistake that for me taking sides or gossiping about my org. It’s really challenging.

    Not to mention, I don’t feel right about sharing the status of our clients’ mental health, emotional issues, behavioral issues, grades, and TONS of other private info that she had access to before she was fired. Luckily, she hasn’t pushed for it, but what if she was a different type of person? It would get wayyy awkward wayyyy fast.

    That’s just one example…hubs and I (we work together) have tried to keep a friendly distance from people but also became friends with a couple we closely work with.

    There have been some situations in meetings with the higher ups where we have chosen to bite our tongue out regarding work related subjects of respect for this couple. I’m sure they have let go of things on our behalf. They are genuinely good hearted people, and if they weren’t, there are SO many situations in which they could have “turned” on us just like that.

    Post # 44
    Member
    60 posts
    Worker bee

    I’m friends with a few people at work, but not enough to add them on facebook- I’ve been burned this way too- nothing incriminating they could share, they just liked to gossip and apparently go through my ancient history photos from when I was in college (various rather embarrasing photos of me having a few too many drinks in a stupid halloween costume- you know the drill)

    Personally I try my best to keep my private life private- But im an open book, when I’m upset about something you can plainly see it on my face! So i tend to have a close personal bond with at least some one i can trust at work or i’d go insane- but mainly somebody who is at my level professionaly rather than a higher-upper…

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