Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Are work friends real?

It’s your first day at a new job and you have the usual first day jitters. You’re not sure where to put your lunch, where to sit and then you look up to see a new co-worker smiling back at you. It's your first work friend. These work smiles make my work environment something to look forward to. Yes, work is called work for a reason. I know we're hired for our abilities not because we can play well with others. And yet it’s the one co-worker who can’t share their toys with others that seem to make work life a more difficult experience.

When we are in grade school, we bond with the other students in our class so this seems natural in our adult work settings. Once you've learned to give and take, work friendships start developing.

Which reminds me of a great work memory... (Click here to check out some of my fav day at the office pics).

A couple of years ago I was working in a very fast paced, politically savvy and difficult advertising agency. And yet what made me happy was the friendship I created with my adjoining cube mate. My days were a lot happier with her sitting there. And when things got tough with the group I was working with, she was there to help cushion the blow. Within months, our work relationship turned friendly with dinners and chats. And about a year and a half later I stood up for her in her wedding.

But how did this work friendship develop from a work reference to a life long friend? It’s amazing to me how some work friends become casual followers on LinkedIn and you can never have a conversation with them again. Isn't this the way that social media works?

We feel connected without seeing the person again.

What is it about a work environment that makes you feel so closed off? Is it because we sit behind computers and email each other more then we talk? I bumped into a woman in the restroom today and asked how she was even though she sits across from me!

Some of my past co-workers I think of and smile. Some have gotten married, had babies and moved on to other jobs. Work friends exist because we are in the trenches together, but do you think that these friendships can last throughout time? Do you think work friends are real friends?

11 comments:

BLOGitse said...

I get one or two friends wherever I am: at work or now living abroad.
Most of the work friends don't become real friends. It would be impossible to have 50 or more real friends at one work place.
With one or two, it just clicks and you notice you're friends even if you live in a different country...

BLOGitse

Brandi said...

I absolutely think work friends can be real friends. It doesn't happen all the time and with every person, but it does happen. One of my friends from my last job has come to visit me since I moved and we still talk on the phone regularly. I'm so lucky to have found her.

Party Box Design said...

I work from home, and always have... so I have no clue!

Laura said...

BLOGitse: I totally agree sweetie and I still love my fathers advice that you can count the amount of true friends on one hand as you get older. Have a great day!

Laura said...

Brandi: And she's lucky to have found you too!

Laura said...

Party Box Design: Oh wow sweetie...yes working away from home does change things. You must share some great stories about being home?

BLOGitse said...

oh, you have the same same phrase!
You can't open your heart and soul to too many people...most of the people around us are just acquaintances and part of them are on level: hi, hi how are you and with others you can even have a conversations.
With real friends you can have deep conversations about anything. You don't have to agree but you understand each others...
I could go on and on.......
But I stop now.
Soon it's dinner time! :)

BLOGitse

The mad woman behind the blog said...

While I've had friends from work that I miss like the dickens, once that daily connection was broken, the relationship was no longer sustainable. A few I feel that I could pick up where we left off, if we ever found ourselves again.
I have room in my heart for them but not in my multi-tasking, always juggling brain.

undomestic chica said...

Some of my closest friends are work friends. True, it doesn't happen with everybody you work with but one of my best friends is a girl I worked my first job with 10 years ago!

Laura said...

The mad woman behind the blog said...: I think it's great that you are able to take a step back to see who you feel connected to. Thanx for your comment sweetie!

Laura said...

undomestic chica: When it works it works huh sweetie? Thats so great about your friend of 10 years. I loved writing this post cause it made me think.