Do's and Don'ts of Working with Friends.
There is no doubt that having awesome coworkers makes for a great working place. Bringing your Friend to your work always helps you be more motivated and energetic.
Decisions are to be made, boundaries are to be set, and mutually assured professionalism is needed to make things work.
Let's break down the do's and don'ts of working with your friends.
Choosing your work friends wisely.
The work environment is centered around professionalism. This system operates on a completely different rule book. Blurring the line between these boundaries can create problems if not respected.
The same is true for bringing a co-worker into your social circle. The professional environment tends to allow people to leave some things at the door. You might invite a friend out to drinks with your other friends only to find out they have a habit of yelling profanity at the game and singlehandedly offending the whole establishment.
Set clear boundaries.
Give yourself time for a deep think on what boundaries will make this relationship feel safe for you in both a personal and professional setting. Do you want to remind your friend of what personal things you would not want to be revealed at the office? Or do you want to ban all talk of the person while at work? And vice-versa, when you’re out with your friend at dinner or gathering feel free to tap her on the shoulder to say, “Let’s not talk about work the whole time.” When you are both clear about where to draw the lines, you can enjoy the benefits and efficiencies of working with someone you truly respect and admire as a human.
It’s okay to have fun with friends on the job. It’s okay to socialize with your co-workers outside of work. But being professional on the job is constant. This must be maintained in the interest of everyone involved. It’s all up to how you choose to balance it.
Paying extra attention to your interactions with work friends is always a good idea. The work-friend / social-friend dynamic needs to be monitored and respected. Choosing your dual-purpose friends wisely is half the battle, and giving the relationship the proper attention and boundaries will see many happy years of working together.
Have transparent communication.
When the sticky moments arise, which they inevitably will push through the discomfort. Be honest, vulnerable, and clear. The more you can build this into a habit for your communication with your friend — both at and outside of work — the more comfortable you will gain. You may have to talk about money. You will disagree. Set expectations that you know these things will come up and that sometimes you will both squirm, but you are committed to working through anything because this relationship is important to you.
Discuss what would create a win-win.
If your friend has now become your boss, you may be looking at this situation from all of its negative angles. And, as with any aspect of life, if you seek the negative, you are sure to find it. That said, how can you look at this scenario so that you both get what you want? You can work together to discuss what success could look like for each of you, and then forge forward supporting each other in getting to those goals.