The New York Times

Why Office Friendships Can Feel So Awkward

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

How to navigate the inherent awkwardness of workplace friendships.

Work friendships are great.

This is an obvious statement, but it also happens to be a fairly popular subject of study among organizational psychologists. Consider, for example, a recently published meta-analysis in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin that analyzed 26 studies on work and friendship and concluded that teams made up of friends tended to perform better than teams made up of strangers.

Twenty-six studies to confirm the fact that, yes, work friendships are great.

Yet having and keeping friends at work can feel more complicated than these studies let on. Say you’re leading a big project, and your friend’s contribution to that project is aare too often doing it for her. What are you supposed to say? What are you supposed to do? And how can you say or do that without damaging your friendship in the process?

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The New York Times

The New York Times5 min readSociety
Why the Oscars, Emmys and Tonys Are Not Ready for They and Them
Sam Smith, the British crooner with a voice often described as heaven sent, announced in September that “my pronouns are they/them.” Days later, the Brit Awards, which had nominated Smith for top male artist earlier in the year, said the categories w
The New York Times4 min read
Exercise Advice for Surviving Cancer, and Maybe Avoiding It
New guidelines say exercise may help cancer patients live longer, or help you avoid getting cancer in the first place.
The New York Times5 min readPolitics
How Deutsche Bank Hired Its Way to the Top in China
Numerous corporations have been fined in recent years for misconduct. The question is whether the large penalties deter bad behavior. Corporations cannot seem to avoid misconduct. Ford Motor recently announced a criminal probe of its emissions and fu