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?

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