I am seeing my friend M today. M and I share a subscription to the Roundabout Theater Company, so about six times a year we see a show together. We also see other Broadway shows together, as well as hit up the Fashion Institute Museum and make pilgrimages to Container Store. M and I have been friends about 30 years, since we met at work.
Most people have people at work that they chat with- it could be the person in the desk next to you, or someone on the same bathroom schedule as you, or, like M and I, we used to compliment each others outfits. We began a friendship outside of the office when we discovered out mutual like of theater, museums, classes at the gym, and fashion. M and I haven’t worked together in 25 years, but remain friends. This has been a good relationship.
My husband had one amazing friend from work who he spent time with long after they stopped sharing a work address.
Work friendships can clearly work, and can clearly be good and long lasting.
Are all work friendships good?
What if you become friends with someone in a department that works with yours. You need them to do something, but they do a half assed job, or don’t complete it on time. Can you react appropriate to the situation when someone is your friend? What suffers: the friendship or the work?
What about envy or jealousy? What if you get a promotion that your friend wants? Can they stand possibly working for you?
What if your friend turns out to not be the person you thought them to be? After you get to know them you find that they have traits or characteristics that you find distasteful? That you realize that they might not be a good person? How do you extricate yourself from the friendship when you still have to work together?
Should you continue a work friendships outside the office?
Many companies make people who are dating co-workers sign something stating that the relationship is mutual, and that they won’t let the relationship interfere with the work. Because after a relationship goes sour, does the company really want to deal with the fallout?
I guess in an age of remote work, we might not have work friendships anymore- there’s no chance meeting in the hallway, or getting to a meeting early and having a few minutes of chat. No company softball games or holiday parties.
For our discussion for today, I want you to think about the following:
- Do you have work friends that you continue to see even though you no longer work together?
- Do you think you should be friends with people you work with, or is it a minefield?
- Do you think the office friendship is over due to remote work?
- What do you think about dating within the workplace? Yay or Nay?