Maintaining healthy relationships at work positively impacts the productivity of everyone in the workplace. Good workplace relationships help us maintain a sense of trust among coworkers and knowing each other’s personality will help when conflict arises. Healthy appropriate relationships also help our personal well-being by making us feel less stressed, in a better mood and more productive at work.
Appropriate relationships are those in which we get along on a respectable level with everyone in the office. This ranges from the office clerk to the CEO. You don’t have to be best friends with everyone, but maintaining a level of respect and friendliness towards everyone show you as an approachable and positive member of the workplace.
If you do so happen to be best friends with someone in the workplace, it’s important to maintain a professional friendship while at work. We all get a little whacky with our best friends. I used to work with my best friend at a retail store, and we’d be fooling around more than working, which resulted in our manager scheduling us to work at different times. Make sure to save the best friend shenanigans for outside of work and this will keep your professionalism intact.
Building good relationships with coworkers doesn’t come easy. These are people you’ve never met before, but have to work on a daily basis and they have different personalities and come from different backgrounds. Here are some tips on building appropriate and effective relationships with others in the workplace:
• Interact- This means socialize, and if you’re the anti-social type, then break out of your shell by simply sticking up a friendly conversation with the person seated next to you. On your first day at work, introduce yourself to everyone. Take this interaction outside the office, by going out to lunch or after work drinks with coworkers.
• Be Timely- If you do your work on time, coworkers and managers will see you as a trustworthy and dependable person. You should come into other things one time, such as meetings, lunches, interviews, and into work to show you’re professional and dependable.
• Be Understandable- Being defensive on an issue won’t solve conflicts you have with coworkers and will only deter them from wanting to interact with you. Being understanding of other people and being reasonable will help you maintain relationships.
• Communicate- This means letting your coworkers know exactly what you want or expect from them. An important component of communication is listening, so it’s important to listen to what your coworkers have to say, because without proper communication any relationship can falter.
Now, that we’ve covered appropriate relationships, it’s time to talk about inappropriate relationships. What comes to everyone’s mind is office romance. It’s inevitable to have an office crush when you work with the same people on an almost daily basis for up to forty hours a week. Sometimes, you may be so caught up in your work that you don’t have time to date outside the office. Romantic relationships have been accepted for the most part. It’s important to check with the policy on romantic relationships in your office by reading your office policy or contacting your HR representative.
Knowing exactly where your office stands on office relationships will prevent you from crossing the line into becoming an inappropriate relationship. If your office allows romantic relationships, make sure to discipline yourselves at work. This means no office PDA or couple fights in the office. If the relationships ends, know that you must be willing to still work with your ex. If you think you can’t handle that then you need to reconsider your relationship. Romantic relationships can be hard to handle, but by following the relationship rules in your workplace you can minimize the discomfort of your coworkers and keep the work environment undisturbed.