I never really understood the debate over why friendships at work were considered to be something bad and unwanted, or why companies have historically discouraged personal relationships between coworkers. These days however, as new and more open-minded generations move through the workforce, it is becoming a more dated point of view. But still, there are those who believe that personal and professional alliances simply don't mix. I disagree. I've developed work friendships since the beginning of my career which have proven to be some of the best, most rewarding relationships I have - by far.
So as the pendulum begins to swing away from the taboo notion that friendships at work threaten business results and toward what value may be inherent to having friends at work, employers appear to be rethinking old mandates that expect employees to keep their personal lives "outside."
Either way, whether you are for or against employee chumminess on the job, its success or failure ultimately depends on the individuals' maturity, professionalism and ability to manage healthy relationships both at work and at play. Meanwhile, there are a few key elements that can keep this potentially good thing from going bad: