How Working with Friends effects your Worklife

Posted In: Work/Life Balance
Posted On: 3/21/2017

Evan: I tend to work with a lot of friends and I’m wondering if you could share any tips about this workplace situation?

Jane: First of all, it’s great if you have an opportunity to work with friends. When you’re around people that you care about and whom you enjoy working with, it adds a whole new dimension to the workplace. Having said that, it also gets tricky because you need to be very clear about the business objectives and your business relationship. You don’t want to get in a situation where the friendship trumps what you’re trying to do from a business standpoint. My tip is to make sure that you have a very clear set of goals when you go into a business situation with your friends. You need to know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish and exactly what the roles are—whether you’re the boss, the subordinate, or you’re peers—so that you’re very clear on the business relationship. As you go forward, it’ll make things a lot easier if you know from the outset what your expectations are from a business standpoint.

Evan: Since you mentioned it, I am the boss for a few of my friends. Could you give us some advice on how to manage a problem in the workplace when something does go wrong?

Jane: Well, the advantage of working with friends is that you can generally be honest with friends. The starting point is to identify the problem—where did the situation go wrong?—and sit down together and lay your cards out on the table. Now, try to share you thoughts as unemotionally as you can. When you are with friends it can be easy to bring in passion and get outside of the business perspective. So, try to be objective. Be honest about the situation. And, make sure that you’re really working on a plan to fix the issue not just ignoring it.