Liking the people you work with can make a considerable difference in your productivity and morale. However, forming inappropriate friendships at work may cause other people to feel uncomfortable and could negatively impact your performance.
Finding a balance between making friends and maintaining professionalism will help you form meaningful and sustainable network connections.
Set personal boundaries
Setting personal boundaries can help you keep your work relationships in line. Do not hesitate to kindly remind coworkers of your boundaries if you notice an interference. Some examples of boundaries you may set include the following:
- Be considerate of the people around you
- Be respectful of the clock and your job
- Know the difference between personal and business discussions
- Keep your conversation professional and transparent
- Avoid one-on-one discussions
Refrain from oversharing
One big way to protect your personal boundaries is to refrain from oversharing. According to Business News Daily, oversharing can have many repercussions including contributing to a hostile work environment. You might regret sharing too many details about your personal life and risk embarrassment.
If you face significant circumstances in your personal life that some people might know about at work, think of a brief way to answer inquiries without disclosing too much. Keep all of your communication professional and ethical.
Sexual harassment can happen at work and some people might not even realize it. Your effort to set boundaries and maintain a professional persona can help you avoid becoming part of the problem. Similarly, if you suffer mistreatment or harassment, having set boundaries will help you identify when people have overstepped them so you can protect yourself and your career.