Home Lifestyle Why you should think twice about sharing business gripes with work friends

Why you should think twice about sharing business gripes with work friends

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Why you should think twice about sharing business gripes with work friends

You may have a close pal at work with whom you chitchat in the morning, grab lunch with now and then, share stories about your relationships and even text during the workday about everything from weekend plans to problems with co-workers. 

But for the sake of your career and your reputation, shouldn’t you be cautious about spilling your soul about gripes you might have at the workplace?

Job experts who spoke to Fox News Digital said it’s better to keep work-friendship jargon to light subjects — and stay professional about workplace matters. 

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Read on to learn more about setting boundaries — and keeping your work complaints close to the vest for your best interests. 

Be professional on the job 

Employees should consistently maintain a professional demeanor at work, even with colleagues they deeply trust, said Joe Galvin, chief research officer at Vistage, a coaching and peer advisory organization in Stamford, Connecticut. 

“While workplace relationships are important in creating overall employee satisfaction, it’s crucial to set boundaries in order to avoid potential workplace conflict.” (iStock / iStock)

“This not only contributes to a positive workplace culture but also reinforces the idea that true work friendships are built on a foundation of mutual respect and shared professional values,” he said.

Set boundaries 

You may think you have a BFF at work, but having perimeters in place on the job will benefit you in the long run.

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“While workplace relationships are important in creating overall employee satisfaction, it’s crucial to set boundaries in order to avoid potential workplace conflict,” Annie Rosencrans, people and culture director for HiBob, a global HR platform based in New York City, told FOX Business. 

“This is especially true for relationships that are developed between managers and their reports as well as leadership and junior team members,” she said. 

business meeting

Said one HR professional, “Boundaries help to maintain confidentiality, trust and professionalism while avoiding cliques and misunderstandings.” (iStock / iStock)

“Boundaries help to maintain confidentiality, trust and professionalism while avoiding cliques and misunderstandings.”

Keep private matters private

While it’s true that people spend a great deal of their time at work and with colleagues, a policy of not discussing business-related issues with coworkers is the safest strategy.

“Sharing work-related complaints with a friend in the workplace may lead to internal conflict and gossiping along with potential information leaks that are confidential,” Rosencrans said. 

“Venting excessively or gossiping about workplace issues with a work friend can hurt morale and impact the way coworkers perceive you.”

Instead, if you must, share your gripes with a neutral friend or loved one. 

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“Discussing workplace issues with a trusted friend or family member outside of the workplace can help ensure that private matters remain private,” she said.

Realize that gossip has consequences

Venting excessively or gossiping about workplace issues with a work friend can hurt workplace morale and impact the way coworkers perceive you, Rosencrans warned.

colleagues talking

“Negative discussions can potentially harm professional relationships as well as your standing within the company.” (iStock / iStock)

“Colleagues should be mindful of the language and tone used, as negative discussions can potentially harm professional relationships as well as your standing within the company,” she said. 

Know that loyalties can shift depending on circumstances

Just as with all friendships, there are peaks and valleys — and a work dynamic makes this even more important to understand.

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“Loyalties among colleagues are dynamic and can undergo shifts based on a variety of circumstances in the professional environment,” Galvin at Vistage told FOX Business. 

Just as with all friendships, there are peaks and valleys — and a work dynamic makes this even more important to understand.

Loyalties might shift in the workplace for a variety of reasons, said Rosencrans with Hibob. 

people at an office together

“Loyalty is earned through accountability, and work friendships built on trust are key to creating a thriving and positive company culture.” (iStock / iStock)

This can typically stem from each employee’s values or expectations within the company.

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“If a work friend uses what you shared in confidence against you, it may mean that your connection isn’t as strong as it seemed,” she added. 

To foster an environment of respect, Galvin with Visage said management plays a role. 

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“By creating a workplace where professional boundaries are respected, loyalty is earned through accountability, and work friendships built on trust are key to creating a thriving and positive company culture,” he said.

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxbusiness.com/lifestyle.

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