Having works friends is great. They save you from having to your lunch by yourself, are always there to talk to, and they make the day go by smoother. How about when your major work friend is your boss? Being close to your supervisor might make things easier when you want to leave early on a Friday, but things can get awkward. If your work friend has received a promotion that puts them in the leadership role, or if you’re getting close to your boss, here’s what you need to know about the pros and the cons.
PRO: You Get Benefits
You don’t have to have the fear of your boss not liking you—they already do. Your boss views you as more than a staff member, and it might not sound fair to others, but when it comes to days off, leaving early, and occasionally promotions; you might get favored. As your friend, your boss is going to want to see you succeed as much as you can.
Also, being able to speak freely around your boss makes for an easier day at work, and it makes you feel like you actually want to show up for the nine-to-five grind. You aren’t deprived of boundaries when you’re close friends with your manager, so this definitely leaves the door open to have some fun and interesting group chats.
CON: It Restricts Criticism
If you and your boss spent the weekend hanging out, then it’s likely that things are going to feel weird come Monday morning. Once the friend/professional lines have been blurred, it’s difficult to make them clear again. Your boss might have a difficult time providing you with constructive criticism.
It’s essential that you remember that the role of your manager is to not only lead, but to give constructive criticism in areas where they think you can improve. That can become very challenging if they are consistently jumping roles between friendship and boss.
On the other end, if your boss does offer the criticism, you might take it personally hearing it from a friend. You might not take them seriously, and you also might ignore information that is supposed to make you better at your job.
PRO: It Can Make You Better
When you spend so much extra time with your boss, you’re going to pick up on some insider information that can make you better at your job. It’s a good idea to spend some time trying to get to know what they want in quality and how their timetable looks.
As an example, if you need to get items approved quickly, it’s a major benefit to know your boss’ schedule; it can enhance your efficiency.
On top of that, truly liking the person that you work for can make the world of a difference. When you don’t like your boss, you’re not motivated to show up for work every day. If your boss is a friend, however, you probably enjoy heading to work every day.
CON: You Can Get Accused of Favoritism
There’s not once person who likes to be called a suck up, though if your colleagues can obviously see the amount of time you spend with the boss, it can cause drama. The drama is likely to skyrocket if the team believes that you are receiving any special perks.
When you are considered the “teacher’s pet,” it’s not going to serve you well when you’re spending time with your other co-workers, so it’s important to be upfront and honest about your friendship with the supervisor—don’t try to hide it.
Ultimately, it’s always better to be on your boss’ good side than anything else when it comes to work. However, there is a way to properly balance the friendship with your boss and the professional relationship with them. If you don’t want there to be any awkwardness, it’s recommended that you sit down with your boss and come up with ways to keep your friendship intact, and hot allow either of your positions at work to be compromised because of it.