Oh, and next Friday…is Hawaiian shirt day…

by statia on July 24, 2003

The office relationship is a funny thing. It’s like an unspoken rule that you generally don’t talk to your coworkers outside of work, unless it’s the ocassional happy hour. In this economy, I don’t see too many hours of happiness going on around my neck of the woods. Anyway, yes, there are exceptions to this rule. Some people you click with at work and you become friends outside of work, but it’s a lot of work to get to that point I think. Most people already have families or a set of friends outside of work. To get to see the outside life of someone is sort of a privledge. Even if you get along really well in the office, a lot of times, you just sort of leave that relationship at the door when you go home. Understandably, you spend 40+ hours a week with these people. You see them all day, why the hell would you want to spend more time with them?


I’ve always gotten along with the majority of my coworkers for the most part. I’m pretty outgoing and a wiseass. It works. My group here is small. There’s only 15 of us in this office, and only 8 of us on our team. I’d say that we tend to get along well. As well as we can. We all have our own little nicknames for eachother. My coffee mafia and I have our own wiseass sarcastic relationship, where we rag on eachother in fun all day. I like it. It keeps us sane.

I think your relationship also depends on the type of office environment you’re in. If you’re in a cube farm, it’s much easier to just call over to someone when you need something, or just prairie dog over at your neighbor and say, it’s time for lunch. All of us here have offices and while it’s nice, even an office has its drawbacks. Being in the confines of four walls all day makes you feel a bit secluded. Sometimes it’s a good thing, but I think it makes you more withdrawn from your coworkers. I noticed a definite difference when we moved from cube land a year and a half ago. I think the closest relationships I had while working was about four years ago, when I worked for a company who’s office environment was completely open (see picture inset). At times that type of open, no wall environment drove me insane, and it took me a very long time to get used to. You see people doing things that you really don’t want to see people doing. On Fridays, the noise level sometimes was intolerable. But I had a close knit group, and I still talk to a few of them today, even though that was four years ago.

Yes, the office relationship was is definitely a strange thing to me, but if you think about it, your coworkers probably know you much better than you realize.

{ 11 comments }

Daniel July 24, 2003 at 10:30 am

i’m in cube-land and i still hate talking on the phone when my cubemates are around. i just can’t seem to get used to it. it’s compounded by the fact that i have Mr. Noseypants two cubes down from me that just loves to get into everybody’s business.

buddha July 24, 2003 at 10:30 am

I agree with you on the plus and minus sides of cube/office life vs non cube life. I’ve done both and I found too that communication and relationships outside the cube environment are a lot better.

BTW…that picture looks strangely familiar…wait a minute…who’s that sitting in the back corner?…

Tom July 24, 2003 at 10:44 am

I agreee, my buddy here at work, stays at work, though we have done things outside of work, I mostly just do things with my family and I seem to have no life outside of work.

sphinxy July 24, 2003 at 10:56 am

I developed better work relationships with people I worked with in an open office setting. Even though it was annoying. I just didn’t need to see my neighbor picking his nose,…

erin July 24, 2003 at 12:27 pm

when I first started working here, our boss would go out with us for happy hour and get hammered. He’d pass out on someone’s couch every weekend. While I thought it was great to have such a cool boss at the time, right now I find it annoying and have lost all respect for him. It was really detrimental to his manager status. But I can tell him to go to hell which is pretty cool.

Makky July 24, 2003 at 5:49 pm

Its funny to see some people from the office outside of work. Its like if/when you saw your teacher outside school. The occasional office gathering on the weekend (once a year) is fine, but I dont know if I’d want to deal with it all the time, when everyone is talking about work. Although it does help me attain a social life.

jay July 24, 2003 at 11:44 pm

I wish I could get a door for my cube (i have 5’5″ walls)… Too many people know where I sit and there is no escape!!!

Pablo July 25, 2003 at 7:42 am

I don’t know what you’re sayin. My workplace is one of these open space designs where everyone shares space and the lack of privacy. In fact, the place looks a lot like your picture. Well, I must get back to sewing all these brand name sneakers with the rest of the village children. This month we’re getting paid an extra four dollars, so I’d feel guilty if I didn’t work for it. Adios

Empress July 25, 2003 at 4:31 pm

I work at the pictured place. While I’m not sure that has contributed to it, almost all of my social activities are with people from work. (Take the happy hour at our house last weekend – 31 people and every one of them was associated with work in some way.) I think it’s great to establish true friendships with your co-workers. You already have something in common. Come to think of it, I married a co-worker! Hmmm…maybe I just really like where I work.

Buzz July 25, 2003 at 6:03 pm

That picture does look strangely familiar. Oh, I know. That’s where all my friends work! Actually, that’s pretty much true. I think that all of my current batch of friends either work in the pictured place or did at one time. And that includes my wife. Amazing, Statia, that we never met. Or did we?

sean July 27, 2003 at 12:28 pm

Hm. My office just moved to a space just like that. Wonder how it’s gonna be.

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