It is nice to be able to tell people at work important things that are going on at home. Sometimes it is nice to gain the insight of a co-worker about a personal problem. As a result, it is hard to determine where to draw the line with business friendships. Should you be sharing all kinds of intimate details about your home life, or should you keep totally quiet about what goes on away from work?
One of my first supervisors had problems with her husband. She began to come in to work late. Then she would sit and tell her assistant all of her problems. As time went on, she did no work, and neither did her assistant. When she decided to move out on her husband, her assistant took the day off and helped. From that point on, her assistant no longer respected her, and no longer worked very hard.
When you are at work, you would like to be judged by the quality of work that you do. If you are a wonderful worker, but share with everyone that you cannot control your home life, they will include that in their estimation of you.
At home with your family and friends, your main goal may be to socialize. The main reason that people go to work, is to work. People sometimes forget that.
Some people believe that others are very interested in all of their problems. Perhaps others show concern, but most likely they don't really want to be totally involved.
Keeping a distance between your work life and your home life is a good thing.
Imagine a situation in which the supervisor and several of the employees have a weekly poker game. Imagine that it becomes apparent that one of the employees in the poker group is not working effectively, and should be fired. The supervisor has a very hard problem. If she fires the employee, the poker group might fall apart. On the other hand, if she keeps the employee and the weekly game, she will have to do the employee's work to ensure that it gets done. Supervisors should not socialize with their employees.
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