Rogue Magazine Features How Close Is Too Close in Boss-Employee Relationships

How Close Is Too Close in Boss-Employee Relationships


boss employee celebrating

A strong, healthy relationship between a boss and their employees makes the work environment more pleasant. However, when relationships cross the line between professional to too personal, potential problems are sure to arise. Being overly friendly with your superior can bring up a whole host of issues, because your boss has power over your career. How close is too close?

You Stop Getting Feedback and Constructive Criticism

If your boss has become your new best friend, they might not want to have the tough conversations about your job performance and how it could improve. Usually friends don’t want to hurt our feelings or upset you, so they hold back when it comes to these discussions. If you’re too close to the boss, you might be missing out on some helpful hints that can help advance your career.

Teacher’s (Boss’s) Pet

The first sign of a too close boss-employee relationship is when you start to get special treatment. Maybe you get singled out for the best projects or aren’t expected to work as hard. You might get asked to go on lunch dates or get more time with your boss in general. This might seem great at first, but you risk getting the cold-shoulder from your coworkers who aren’t so cozy with the boss.

You Start to be More Social at Work

Having a friendly relationship with your boss is practically essential if you want to enjoy your job, but when the relationship goes from friendly boss-employee to mostly friends it can be too much. If you’re sharing glances or inside jokes, you risk making other employees uncomfortable. Overall workplace morale will suffer and productivity will go down.

You’re spending A Lot of Time Together Outside of Work

It’s one thing to attend the occasional business meeting over lunch with your boss, but when you’re meeting for dinner, drinks, or simply to socialize, this can create a lot of unnecessary drama. You should be able to get your work done during normal business hours and never feel obligated to meet up with your boss outside of those professional parameters.

You’re Sharing Personal or Intimate Details of Your Lives

Always keep in mind that certain things should be left unsaid in the workplace. Sharing intimate details about your relationships or using your boss-employee conversations as therapy sessions is a huge red-flag that you’re crossing the line. If you’re feeling frustrated with your coworkers and they become the brunt of your inside jokes, you’ve gone too far. Keep conversations professional.

The Relationship Is Flirtatious

As much as you try to hide it, other employees will start to notice when two people become overly friendly at work, especially if it’s the boss and another employee. Not only is this highly inappropriate, it can also lead to legal issues such as having to contact a sexual harassment attorney San Francisco because of a lawsuit.

Not only can it become uncomfortable for you, but for other coworkers. Boss-employee relationships that reach this level rarely end well for anyone, in fact flirting or dating at work causes a hostile work environment and often results in someone losing their position. If you notice it happening, it’s best to curb the behavior immediately and before it goes too far. 

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