Professionals or Pals: How Friendly Is Too Friendly?

As Valentine’s Day looms on the horizon, romance and love is in the air, and this topic can permeate many places, including your office. While romantic love is the primary topic of Valentine’s Day, we want to address all types of relationships in the workplace, so the topic to tackle is how friendly is too friendly when it comes to your coworkers and/or employers? You don’t want to come off as standoffish, rude, or unfriendly as this won’t do much to move you up the chain in your career, but you also don’t want to be looked upon as unprofessional or inappropriate. Where is the balance?
Here are some things to keep in mind when determining if a relationship in the workplace, whether romantic, or solely for friendship, is going to hurt your job.
  • Distraction.  An in-office relationship can be distracting to you and to those with whom you are spending time, which means your productivity and efficiency at work could be negatively impacted.  That won’t go over well with your boss or coworkers since your work will end up falling on their shoulders.
  • Drama.  Break-ups and/or dissolutions of friendships are never easy, but add in the factor of both parties working in the same office, and you have a whole new set of problems.  In an out-of-the-office relationship you can at least avoid seeing your former friend or flame to allow time to heal and toughen up a bit, but in a work relationship, you will be forced to see them day after day.
  • Disobedience.  Many businesses frown upon in-office romances (for many of the same reasons mentioned above) and have policies prohibiting employees from engaging in this type of relationship.  Even if there is not a strict rule against it, most bosses frown on this type of activity in the work environment.  In these cases you could be putting your job at risk if you look for love at work. While friendships among coworkers are usually encouraged by employers, even this type of relationship could get you in trouble if you let it get in the way of getting your job done. 
  • Discord.  If your coworkers are aware of your friendships (or romance) in the workplace, and are not included in the fun, jealousy, awkwardness, etc. are all complications that can occur among staff. While romantic relationships tend to cause more problems in this area, a clique can form among two or three coworkers who have become friends, and the same issues can arise from other employees. Be mindful of how obvious your relationships are within the workplace, and save the (excessive) fun for the weekends. Your main goal is to make sure no one feels excluded or left out, as your boss wants a team working for the company. 

Instead of looking for ways to make friends (or find love), look for a jump-start to your career!  If you are ready for the next step in your employment or are currently unemployed and ready to hit the work force, PHR Staffing Solutions is ready to help you make it happen.  We provide top-quality recruits for employers throughout the greater Lakeland area of Central Florida, and we can help you.  Give us a call or come into one of our local offices in Winter Haven, Lake Wales, or Lakeland to get your resume in our hands.  Find a job you love with PHR Staffing Solutions!