Making friends in the workplace can be a highlight of your role, bringing positives for both you and the company. However, badly managed workplace friendships can lead to favouritism and conflicts of interest. In particular, PA jobs and office support jobs have a unique dilemma, because you have close links to management. As London’s leading PA recruitment agency, we take a look at how to manage these friendships successfully and observe the unwritten rules of office friendships.
Have firm boundaries
A little chat can brighten a dull day, but without firm boundaries, you’ll find it hard to maintain focus on your tasks. Those doing PA jobs in London are particularly in need of firm boundaries. Your colleagues will look to you as a role model for the behaviour that is deemed acceptable by top management.
This can be a tricky area to navigate, so demonstrate firm friendship boundaries by only chatting at lunch and on breaks, rather than around your desk. You also need boundaries the friendships themselves. In office support jobs and as a PA, you’re seen to hold a position of influence. Never damage management’s credibility, and always maintain integrity when it comes to data, confidentiality, and privacy.
Ensure things are equal
You may naturally forge friendships with different individuals across the business. However, you can’t let this shape how you treat people in the workplace. You need to collaborate with everyone on an equal footing—don’t favour an individual because of your relationship with them.
For example, if you’re friends with someone in accounts, don’t use them as your go-to, rather than going through the official channels. Whoever your friends are, you need to treat all staff equally, but well. Here are some suggestions for keeping everyone in the workplace happy.
Steer away from gossip
As office support jobs and PA jobs occupy a unique position, you are the conduit between someone deemed ‘important’ and the masses. Not only does this mean you have a trickier task of navigating friendships, it also means that you’re bang in the middle for hearing gossip.
It’s absolutely vital that you retain your professionalism, no matter where this gossip comes from (friends included). Never pass on gossip, even if you believe it affects your friend. This is a difficult line to follow and you’ll need to pick friends wisely, those who respect the position you’re in.
See it as a work relationship
It’s also important to consider how you manage the friendship outside work. If things get messy, you need to ensure it that it doesn’t impact on the workplace, so always be careful. Remember that your friendship is a work relationship—whether you’re on work time or not.
For those who successfully manage work relationships, there are many benefits. It can keep you going when things get tough, and ensure you come to work enthused and energised. Friendships in the workplace can also bring immense positives to the company, such as enhanced teamwork and motivation.
Speak to the experts
There’s no escaping that work friendships bring specific challenges. However, as long as you understand this, you’ll be better positioned to manage the relationship. For more tips on office culture, stay tuned to the Love Success blog.
If you’re looking for your next role at a company with a great work culture and the potential for positive working relationships, get in touch with us today on 020 7870 7177. As the leading London office support & PA recruitment agency, we have access to a wider range of opportunities for temporary and permanent PA jobs and office support jobs in London.
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