This is why your boss should not be your friendNidhi Thakur
Making friends at work is not just a need, but a necessity, if you want to ensure a happy, content work-life balance. No matter what field or which company you’re working in, we all know that we spend the majority of our every day at our workplace. While we already have our plates full with the endless roll-out of everyday tasks and challenges, having friendly colleagues by your side can just make the process a little more enjoyable!
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A good boss-employee relationship is something we all work towards, whether as the boss or the employee in the equation. But while being friendly and having a good understanding of a natural work symbiosis is essential, knowing where to draw the line is critical too. More importantly, WHY is there a need to draw the line? Here are some reasons that’ll hopefully get you thinking:
‘That’s too personal’
Always remember, no matter how close you are to your boss, or how cool and understanding he or she is, there are a few things best kept a secret when it comes to this equation. Both for you and for your boss. When you cross the line from a professional relation to a personal one, you have to be prepared to shell out those secrets too, and that could backfire in the long run.
Making things awkward for your colleagues
Ever felt uninvited at a party where everyone kept discussing childhood memories or inside jokes which you totally don’t get? That’s how your colleagues will feel at work, every single day, stuck between you and your boss. When you’re hanging out with your manager off working hours, it’s natural that the chemistry will also reflect in your workplace. And while this can be great for you, it won’t be so pleasant for your colleagues.
Becoming the gossip
Following from the point above, uncomfortable colleagues turn to the next best and most easily available source of satisfaction to make peace with your friendship: gossip. Soon enough, your work will stop getting credit from your fellow team mates. Everything you do right will be waived off as a ‘friendly favour’, and everything you do wrong will be monitored crucially to see how the boss reacts to his ‘favorite’. This added pressure of proving your worth at every step, even when you know no one is going to believe it, is no good if it can be avoided.
Stepping on authority
Friendship has many layers, some positive like love, loyalty, and mutual respect, and some fairly not – like possessiveness, jealousy, and expectations. What may have begun between you and your boss as a good-natured friendship can become messy once work authority and hierarchy comes into play. You might not appreciate not being chosen for a project you had hinted you wanted to take up, or he might feel deeply hurt if you choose to part ways and join a competing brand for your future growth.
Extending work after office
It’s all good when it starts. A drink or two after work with your manager. It feels like you’re connecting well and you’re tempted to keep it that way. But as this relationship blossoms, you’ll have to start analysing if you’re just hanging out with your manager ‘after work’, or if you are taking your work out of office. Are you discussing board-room plans at a club or chalking out a creative plan for the upcoming pitch? Is it really the relaxing off-work time you need, or is this friendship just the same work-relation packaged in a fancy envelope?
Of course, no relationship is easy, and each one comes with its own share of dos and don’ts. If even after reading these reasons, you feel, from your heart, that what you share with your boss is beyond such observation and you’re both mature enough to handle it right, who are we to say no to a good friendship?