"I'll be there for you": Friendships and the pressures of work

It is argued in an article by Daniel Allen of The Times that workplaces where the staff become more than colleagues will increasingly have a competitive advantage over their less cohesive rivals.

The article - Friends benefit firms - goes on to consider why this is the case. The main reasons offered are that strong friendships allow employees the best defence against the changing nature of work, i.e. the need to be more 'flexible' or be capable of 'multi-tasking'. A further point suggests a workplace where friendships flourish, employees are more likely to be collaborative by sharing their knowledge and expertise.

A good and interesting article, but I'm not convinced that any organization would encourage friendships to flourish in the workplace without wanting something quite specific back in return, i.e. more effort, etc. I can't help feeling first of all that managers can't engineer friendships. The second point is that employees are likely to be very cynical of any attempts to pair them off with colleagues. And third, if there comes a point where a manager needs to drive a wedge between 'friends', i.e. make one redundant or discipline them, etc. then you are going to seriously upset a minimum of two members of staff.

No comments: