Spending your days around your coworkers can lead to the development of unprofessional relationships. The development of these relationships feels very normal and true at the time of them developing. It is a person’s natural inclination to develop social relationships with those who they are surrounded by. However, it is worth remembering that a professional work environment is far from a natural setting for human relationships to grow in. You may not realize it at the moment, but each and every one of your coworkers can and will be your competitor under the right circumstance. If the time calls for competitive action, your coworkers will go through great lengths to win over you in any facet of competition at work. Whether it be impressing superiors by throwing your name in the dirt, or collaborating against the work you’ve done in order to propagate work of their own into the limelight.
There Are No Friends in Competition
Taking in coworkers as your friends can lead you to becoming lenient in times of competition, giving them an advantage if they choose not to be lenient towards you. Friendships at work can also serve to ruin your reputation by association. If a known friend of yours acts inappropriately or does not deliver a work package in an acceptable manner, you can be seen as being similar to them even if you’re not. Friends look out for one another, and you will be expected to fill in for the mistakes of your friends at work. If your friends are ones who take more than they give back, you will start wasting your time and efforts in helping them out of sticky situations at work.
Ironing Out the Ups and Downs of Friendship
Friendships also have their ups and downs. It is much easier to be impartial and remain at a happy medium with a coworker emotionally when you two have no unprofessional ties towards each other. Once something goes south with a friend at work, your professional duties have the ability to suffer as emotional tension will be present in a place of business. The place where you earn your money should contain no distractions that have the risk of keeping you away from doing so. If a relationship you have with someone at work takes a turn for the worst, you now risk being around them every day thereby risking the quality of your output decreasing due to unprofessional relations.
There are many friends outside of work that you can make. Though it may seem hard to remain cold against developing unprofessional relationships in a professional setting, the potential pitfalls are scarier than the benefits those relationships provide. Reducing risk in the time you invest to make money is the overall goal at work. Focus on delivering the best possible output you can while mitigating all risks that may cause that output to suffer. The unsteady and uncontrollable facets of friendship can play a factor in decreasing the quality of your output at work. Whether you want to risk that is up to you, but keeping tabs on all the risks to the steadiness of your income is essential.