Is It True That Work Friends Are Not Real Friends?
According to the Tim Sackett Project, “Only 15% of people believe they have a ‘real friend at work.”
Based on further research from the post:
- 41% are just Coworkers. We work together. We get along. But we never hang.
- 22% are Strangers. They work in the same place I do, but I have no idea who they are.
- 20% are Only At Work Friends. We sit at lunch together, we talk about our families, but after work, we have separate lives.
- 15% are Real Friends. These are my people. We work together, but we also vacation together, go for drinks, play on the same softball team, etc.
- 2% are Enemies. I spend most of my waking hours searching for ways to ruin their lives.
I truly believe you can have it both ways.
I have had long-lasting friendships with some of my work colleagues from my previous jobs!
Believe it or not, some of my best friendships have come from work friends I have met along my career path.
It will really depend on how you both treat your relationships and if you are on the same page as the other person.
Can You Be Friends With Your Boss
Yes, you can be friends with your boss provided that you both respect and earn each other’s trust.
I don’t think I would go out drinking with my boss or even share my deepest secrets with them. If you attempt to become friends with your boss, don’t expect special treatment.
I would keep all your activities outside of work and just focus on your job when you go into the workplace.
Ways To Build A Successful Friendship At Work
I personally truly believe that having work friends is healthy and it definitely motivates you to work more and harder!
Friendship increases productivity in the workplace.
Those that have a healthy work environment and are friends with their co-workers tend to enjoy work more. I believe having at least one healthy relationship (friendship), is a good idea for all involved.
In order to have great work friends and ensure no lines or boundaries are crossed, read our tip below on building successful work relationships with your co-workers!
1. Make the Introduction
If it’s your first day off work or the beginning of starting new friendships at work, take the initiative and introduce yourself!
If you have a lunchroom or you are at a social setting such as a staff retreat, introduce yourself to other co-workers and strike up conversations.
This is the best way to start a great relationship with work friends.
2. Be A Team Player
I am really big on those that are team players. This means, they care about everyone else and will jump in to help where needed!
If your office is short-staffed one day, volunteer your time to help where needed.
When work asks for volunteers in different aspects of the office, be sure to participate. The more involved you are, the more people will begin to appreciate what you do.
Don’t let your own work suffer because of this though!
3. Participate in Work Events
Another place to successfully build work friends is by attending work events!
The environment is typically less formal which makes it really easy to strike up conversations with other co-workers.
If your workplace is hosting a staff picnic, staff retreat or even a BBQ be sure to go ahead and attend these as this is a good place to be a lot less professional in terms of the environment.
Be sure to strike up a few conversations with your colleagues.
4. Plan A Small Get-together With Your Work Friends
If your workplace does not participate in staff retreats or social gatherings, don’t be afraid to take the initiative and plan one. It doesn’t have to be a huge event.
Simply send out an email to a few people from your work and invite them for lunch, after-work drinks or after-work dinner!
The key is to make the plans for after work as most people especially if it’s their first time, will not attend on weekends.
5. Be Positive
Work can sometimes be overwhelming for some, and sometimes people might not just love where they work. This typically leads to negative talk, low self-esteem or a toxic environment.
Stay positive and avoid talking bad.
Most people will stay away from the person or even groups of people that are always negative or seem to be constantly complaining about something.
If this is you, try to stay positive and find ways to deal with anything soon than later.
6. Avoid Work Gossip Especially About Other Work Friends
Keeping with the same above, try not to talk bad about other workmates. This is extremely important in every way and even more important if you are friends with the boss.
If you talk about people behind their back it could lead to mistrust, someone perhaps getting fired and it’s just not a good look on anyone.
In other words, don’t gossip!
7. Have Boundaries
Remember that you are at work to work.
This is not a place to socialize and this should be kept to a minimum. Keep your chit-chat to after work, during lunch or when you are on break.
Also, keep in my mind that your choice of becoming friends with someone was your choice.
This should not be a reason to give other people special treatment just because you are friends with certain people at work.
This is why we highly recommend setting boundaries all around!
8. Respect Other People’s Time
Just because you have a little free time, doesn’t mean that you have to go to your colleague’s desk to chat! Don’t hang around their desks either hoping to get a quick chat in.
Respect that they have work to get done and you can meet up when you are both on break or after work!
Ideally, keep work at work and the personal things outside of work as much as possible!
9. Welcome New Employees with Open Arms
If your organization has just hired a new person, be the first to welcome them and make them feel at home.
They are a few things you can do to make a new employee feel welcome:
- Show them around the office
- Introduce them to other colleagues
- Show them where things are in the office
- Tell them about the procedures and expectations so they do better
- Set them up for success
- And encourage the new person to openly ask you questions or ask for more help
By doing this, you are encouraging trust as well as an open door possibility with the new person. This can easily turn into a friendship!
10. Approach Social Media With Caution
I personally do not encourage friending your co-workers on Social Media. Depending on your postings, co-workers do not need to see everything you post on social media!
If you do become friends with co-workers on social media, keep it clean!
Otherwise, respectfully decline any invitations to be friends with co-workers on social media!
11. Choose your Work Friends Wisely
And last but not least, choose your work friends wisely.
We do not suggest being friends with just anyone. Some people may not have your best interest at heart!
They might smile and laugh with you, but maybe secretly doing you bad.
Just be wary and proceed with caution!
Do you have work friends? How well do you nurture these relationships? How well are they working out for you? We would love to hear your thoughts below!
11 Ways To Have A Healthy Relationship With Work Friends