For years, mixing business with pleasure has been considered a big no-no, but I’ve been doing just that for a lifetime, and it’s served me well. By pleasure, I mean friendship in its purest form.
The reality is, in the modern work environment, I think it’s impossible not to blend the two worlds.
Reflecting back on the multiple lockdowns and the advancements in technology and communication tools (which we are all able to access – thank god!), I can see how much the two worlds of personal and work have merged during this time. Never have we ever experienced such a universally shared phenomenon that affected every single one of us, both personally and professionally in some way shape or form. It was only natural therefore that we all began to blur that line between work and friendship as we rallied collectively to get through to the other side and supported each other to do so.
But it’s not a new thing for me. Della, my best friend, and I have been working together for the last 20+ years (I can’t reveal how many more years the ‘+’ denotes as that would reveal our ages, ahem!). During that time we have had shifting roles in the workplace, whilst being godparent to Della’s children and we have thoroughly tested our relationship whilst building a successful business from the ground up. Financial crisis Check. Pandemic. Check. Outsourcer Of The Year Check. We’ve certainly proved that you can be ‘Wiends’ (work colleagues and friends!) through it all.
It’s inevitable that you are going to make friends at work as you spend more time with your colleagues than you often do with your family or non-work friends. So embrace the friendships that blossom, but recognise that it won’t always be easy. You will still need to be able to have difficult conversations and you will need to set boundaries, but it can be done.
Surrounding yourself with meaningful relationships where you have an overwhelming sense of trust, support, care and of course a good dose of humour, makes up for any frustrations or arguments that may crop up from time to time when in business mode.
In the modern, post-pandemic world, mixing business with pleasure is becoming the norm. Take the opportunity to ride this wave and build long term, lasting relationships. It’s LOVELY!