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Should you be making friends at work?

Article written by Unathi Balele


There are pros and cons to making friends at work. While it can enhance job satisfaction, increase productivity, and improve mental health, it can also create conflicts of interest, lead to gossip and drama, blur personal boundaries, and limit diversity.


Ultimately, the decision to make friends at work depends on your personality, the workplace culture, and your career goals. If you decide to pursue friendships with your colleagues, it’s essential to maintain professionalism, set clear boundaries, and avoid gossip or conflicts of interest.


The answer is not straightforward and depends on various factors. Here are some things to consider:

Pros of making friends at work

  1. Improved job satisfaction: Having friends at work can enhance your job satisfaction by making the work environment more enjoyable and less stressful.
  2. Increased productivity: When you have a good relationship with your colleagues, it can lead to better communication and collaboration, which can increase productivity and efficiency.
  3. Better mental health: Social support is essential for mental health, and having friends at work can provide a sense of belonging, reduce stress, and improve your overall well-being.
  4. Professional networking: Building friendships with colleagues can help you expand your professional network, learn new skills, and potentially advance your career.

Cons of making friends at work

  1. Conflicts of interest: If you become too close with your colleagues, it can create conflicts of interest, particularly if you’re working on the same project or vying for the same promotion.
  2. Gossip and drama: Forming friendships at work can sometimes lead to gossip and drama, which can be distracting and damaging to workplace morale.
  3. Personal boundaries: It can be challenging to maintain personal boundaries when you’re friends with your colleagues. For example, you may find it challenging to say no to work-related requests or to give honest feedback.

This story first appeared on Bona