We all spend most of our time at work, so it is only natural that friendships are established in the workplace. Usually these relationships develop with co-workers, but when it happens between a boss and subordinate, things can get tricky! Being friends with your boss comes with a unique set of boundaries that should be observed.
The number 1 thing to remember is – He/She is your boss first, and your friend second!
If you keep this number 1 rule in mind, the rest of the below suggestions should be relatively easy to follow:
Do’s of Being Friends with Your Boss
Do communicate openly regarding any problems, concerns or conflicts. It may also be a good idea to sit down and talk about some ground rules early on in the friendship, if possible.
Do be inclusive with everyone in the office. A personal relationship with your boss is fine, as long as it does not impact your coworkers or exclude others and create animosity
Don’ts of Being Friends with Your Boss
Don’t flaunt your friendship in the workplace. If your coworkers do not have a friendship with the boss, this can make things uncomfortable and create potential animosity and tension
Don’t overdo the social media connection. Work relationships were likely much simpler before the era of social media! If you hit “accept” after the friend request rolls in, it introduces the possibility of censorship and complications into your relationship
Don’t gossip! Gossip is a bad idea in all circumstances and it’s even worse between a manager and subordinate. It’s best to stay away from discussions about anything work-related outside of the office.
Don’t leverage your friendship for special treatment. This should go without saying, but your boss should treat you as he or she does any other employee and you should expect that.
There is no doubt about it, navigating a friendship with one’s boss can be tricky! However, as with anything in the workplace, conducting yourself in a professional and consider way will always be the rule of thumb. So yes, you can have a friendship with your boss, but you must always keep your coworkers in mind when in the workplace. And always keep that number 1 rule in mind, they are your boss first!