People, friends, and colleagues

Mushaffa Huda
4 min readMay 2, 2021

in the world of professionalism, the ideal situation is when everyone and everything is working just the way we wanted it to be. but unfortunately, things aren't always that easy.

In this article, I will try to share my own experience on managing people and relationships in a professional work environment.

real management is developing people through work

there is a thin line between creating and establishing good relationships between colleagues, and making friends.

the latter is done without any ulterior motives.

a colleague or a friend?

what does that question had anything to do with people management?

well, the short answer is.. a lot

to understand your team is to understand your relationship with them. is it just a professional one? or does seeds of friendships sprouts in between meetings and video calls? this might sound a bit weird for some people but hear me out for a bit...

when relationships between coworkers stay professional, your relations are only based on your work,

when that huge contract is done your client will move on to a new contractor, never contacting you again.

when your 3-month long project is finally done, your team will go on their own separate ways, working on new projects.

there's no string attached, your productivity and current results will be an independent variable that everybody will view objectively, not subjectively.

there won't be occasions where you would say

“oh it's fine, you're a friend of mine. this kind of error and mishaps are for all of us to bear”

therefore a “colleague” is someone you work together with, whatever he/she does or didn't do outside of your work stuff is none of your concern.

so is it bad then? to make friends rather than colleagues at work?

no, of course not... actually, you should make more friends than colleagues. it's more beneficial to do so for both your working environment and productivity.

why you ask?

well, first of all, working with friends is way more fun, isn't it?

the sheer pressure of dominating and outworking your peers will dissipate when you think of them as a friend, rather than a competitor. yes I know, if you haven't experienced a working environment nor a group project before, you probably wouldn't know, but it is true.

by befriending your coworkers and colleagues, you will know and understand them more than just “someone I knew at work”. this will result in a much more solid team dynamic and amazing team work.

“man I'm sorry I cant make it to the team meeting this week, my daughter is sick and I have to take care of her”

such a regard may be dismissed as a normal excuse to leave work if your relationship are only at the “coworker” level.

but if it is a friend we are talking about, not only you would be inclined to help them sort it out or at the very least show them some concern.

this will lead to an increase of trust and reliance between team members, and that reliance will leak over to your own work.

you will be at ease when delegating your work to your teammates.

you will be more reliant on each other, helping through difficult task and be open about hardships and hurdles, and trying to overcome it together as a team.

do it together!

there is an overbearing existence of difficult tasks when it comes to executing your work flawlessly, especially in a fast moving industry like software engineering. and although you cant expect to overcome everything at once, it is always a good thing to have someone who understands and be helpful along the way.

Soo in conclusion..

work hard, be respectful, be a vital part of your team. but don't forget, your coworkers and colleagues are also human, they share the same burden and feelings as you.

the more you understand them the better it will be.

for yourself,and for the work that you are doing.

so don't forget to make friends, be thoughtful, and learn how to communicate effectively with others. 😄

that's it for today, I hope u enjoy this short ramble of mine.

see you next time ! 👋