Ground Rules for Positive Workplace Friendships

International Friendship Day is July 30th, which inspired us to celebrate the occasion with some helpful tips on workplace friendships. Navigating friendships in the workplace can be tricky at times, as it’s important to remain professional and productive. Here are some helpful ground rules to get you started.

Maintain Boundaries

While research has shown that having quick chats with your coworkers throughout the day can actually boost productivity, it’s important not to spend the entire work day talking rather than working on your projects. A helpful way to avoid spending too much time with friends in the office is to set some time aside during a break or lunch to connect with them and catch up.

This is especially important if your friendship crosses workplace hierarchies. It can be helpful to recognize the optics of that relationship as to avoid creating an unintentional perceived culture of favoritism. By carving out specific times throughout the day to talk with your work friends, you can avoid procrastination and ensure that everyone feels equal.

Include Others

When you’re working on a project that involves collaboration, it’s easy to automatically get your friends in the office involved. That said, it’s important to include other coworkers you’re not as close with to help develop a wider range of ideas and become more open-minded to different approaches. Furthermore, it will allow you to create a culture of inclusivity within the office, ensuring no one feels left out.

Treat Everyone Equally

Just as it’s important to be inclusive to colleagues you aren’t close with, it’s vital to treat every member of your team equally. Make an effort to listen to all coworkers, not just your work friends, and be sure to give each person the attention they deserve so they leave every interaction with you feeling valued and respected. For example, if you’re catching up with your work friends in the breakroom about how their weekend went, be sure to ask your other colleagues as well. This will show that you want to make an effort to get to know them better and that you care about each person on your team.

Workplace friendships are a great way to boost employee morale, happiness, and productivity. Keep these ground rules in mind as you navigate your friendships with colleagues and remember to prioritize a healthy company culture.

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