By Ericka Smith
Having a workplace bestie can make your day much brighter, especially when you’re buried in paperwork and you feel like you can’t do anything right. In fact, a survey by Gallup found that Americans who have a best friend at work are less likely to quit and are more engaged than employees who don’t have an office buddy. So, what’s the harm in having someone you can lean on while you’re at work? Nothing, unless you develop their bad habits. Here are 3 ways your workplace BFF can keep you from flourishing.
1. Their Problems Become Your Problems
Has your work BFF ever had an issue with a manager then you suddenly find yourself giving that manager the cold shoulder too? It’s normal to feel that way because no one likes when someone they care about is “wronged.” However, you can’t afford to make your friend’s issue your issue. It creates unnecessary tension in the workplace and quite frankly, makes you seem immature. It’s important that you remain unbiased when situations like this occur, because you still need to be able to communicate effectively and synergize with your bosses. Not to mention, management is not fond of employees who hold grudges.
2. Management Sees You as a Packaged Deal
When executives are considering giving someone a promotion, you better believe they consider all factors—and that includes your best friend. You may be great at your job, but if you’re joined at the hip to someone who’s slacking, you become guilty by association. Furthermore, your boss needs to be confident that you can transition into an authoritative role, which may require you to have a tough sit down with your BFF when he or she is in the wrong. You never want management to think that your friendship will cloud your judgement, so it’s important that you can stand on your own.
3. They Keep You from Developing Relationships with Other Colleagues
Is your workplace bestie a little jealous? You know, they make petty comments when you spend too much time with your other coworkers or they never want to participate in team building activities. That’s not good at all. Sometimes we can be so invested in our friendships that we close the door to new friends. In today’s society, networking is vital, so make sure you don’t miss out on establishing a mutually beneficial relationship just to keep your work bestie happy.
All in all, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a best friend at work. The problem occurs when they aren’t equally yoked, so make sure you’re friends with someone who is positive, goal-oriented and professional.