More often than not, I’ve seen the friendship-employee line blurred, like a verse from a Robin Thick song.
Jumping at the opportunity to work with, or for your bestie seems almost natural – at first! I get it! It’s easy…you already know your bestie, you have been through thick and thin together, conquered heartbreaks together, lent a hand when needed and a couple of pairs of shoes, dresses, tops, breakfasts, lunches, and couches to crash on. In fact you’ve been through so much together that you’ve basically done what is equivalent to bailing them out of jail. You believe that working with your friend will make your job more enjoyable. You make a good team, right? Wrong.
Here’s a few complications you should consider before completely ignoring the friendship-employee line!
1.) It’s not scalable
Workplaces and teams are made up of a pool of different personalities often working together in some way or another to get the job done. However, when relationships are beyond the workplace its only natural that you will be drawn to them. People will start feeling left out of your two-man clique. Eventually it will be seen as favoritism. Realistically speaking you are going to favor your friends, that’s what friends do!
2.) Respect and disagreeing
As a boss your decisions need to be respected. However, if your bestie-employee doesn’t agree with you, it will be easy for them to roll their eyes and even refuse to carry out instructions. This behavior may be difficult to be reversed in a friend and it also ruins your authoritative example to the rest of your team.
3.) Who will you bitch to about your boss
In normal circumstances, you would probably bitch about your boss to…yes, you guessed right! Your best friend! Let’s face facts, even if you have the best boss in the world, some days they are really going to grind your tits and you are going to want to have a good healthy bitch about them, except you wont feel guilty about it. Well now you will.
4.) Friendships are based on equality
Further to number 3. You are going to complicate your friendship even further. As you start dictating responsibilities, income and career paths to your friend. The nature of your friendship changes and if you’re the receiving end of that, your competitive streak will kick in and you will wonder why you are getting bossed around by your bestie. Why complicate things?
5.) Personal Issues
Usually you would turn to your friend when going though a rough time, and you would leave wet blankets at the door once you walk into work. It’s all about professionalism! Well not anymore! Not when your bestie is easily accessible, compassionate and understanding. Compassion and understanding is easily dished out to your friends outside working hours, but how much time can be put aside for this during business hours especially when it may jeopardize your day-to-day operations at work. Retraining your brain to refrain from turning to your bestie can be near impossible to do. Pulling a “sickie” will be awkward too, especially when you were both at the bar drinking tequilas until 2am.
Working with a friend can really complicate your friendship, team dynamics and whole work environment. As a boss and as an employee, not everyone is going to like you all the time, guess that’s why they say “there’s no friendship in business”. Is a job really worth loosing a friendship over?