Personal Life vs Work Life

(25 Posts)
MakeAHouseAHome Fri 09-Nov-18 16:09:47

Just wanted to gather some thoughts really on whether people strongly seperate their work and personal lives?

I have no interest in socialising with work colleagues, not because they aren't nice people but because I have a busy life outside of work, and family and friends and my Partner who I would rather socialise with outside of work. I also don't want any crossovers of my work and personal life, I don't want to share personal details of my life with colleagues which I then think makes the 'friendship' inauthentic anyway.

I still have great working relationships with my colleagues and it has no impact on my work.

But it has been bought up by my Manager and tbh I feel a bit put out that this should even be being mentioned in relation to my job role?

OP’s posts: |
BackforGood Fri 09-Nov-18 19:22:09

I think it depends on the context.
I don't rely on my colleagues for socialising at weekends, evenings, or outside of work time generally but I'm friendly, chatty when time allows.
Do you think there is a possibility you come across as 'stand-offish' in not 'sharing personal details of my life'. As I say, I don't share secrets or personal things, but it is normal to chat about your dc, or if you are watching the World Cup/ Bake Off / Strictly, or where you are off to on holidays this year, in the same way you might be asked when you get your haircut. There's a level of chat' that is normal when you are spending time with people, yes.

Then you get the companies that do all 'team building' rubbish. You also get some work environments where it is 'expected' you will bond over a drink after work on pay day etc. Others appreciate people want to get home and don't, but if your company is one of the first then maybe it is a bigger deal than if you are at a place that doesn't?

I don't know how much / how little you are prepared to talk about, so as to whether they are 'expecting too much' or whether you are actually excluding yourself.

blueshoes Fri 09-Nov-18 19:29:29

What exactly was the Manager's feedback? Seems a bit strange for a manager to be raising this unless it affects work.

MakeAHouseAHome Fri 09-Nov-18 22:31:17

It 100% doesn't effect work.

It was raised because I don't attend out of work social events. I chat to colleagues about tv or insignificant things like that but I just really draw barries between my work an personal life.

Apparently it is more a political issue around raising my profile but the way I see it is I'm not oaid outisde my hours and I don't want to socialise personally with colleagues and that should have no impact on my work review.

Just a bit miffed tbh and now feel like I HAVE to attend these events even though it makes personal life awkward due to the hours.

OP’s posts: |
EBearhug Sat 10-Nov-18 11:52:28

I have worked in a number of places, and some have had more active social circles than others. But there have always been some people who haven't really been involved, because they have busy lives outside work, caring responsibilities, or just don't want to spend more time with people people they already spend a lot of time with. It's not usually a problem - people are all different.

My manager has had issues with me not talking about what I do at the weekend (I have nothing against talking about what I do at the weekend, but often it's really dull, housework and stuff, so I tend not to volunteer it unless someone asks, and generally, they don't.) It got to the point of going to HR, and they were quite definite that there is no obligation to talk about anything outside of work, nor to socialise outside of work. There will be other ways to raise your profile. If they think the only way to network and meet people in other parts if the business is through of golf or nights in the pub, then they probably have issues around diversity. It's going to discriminate against anyone with a life outside of work.

Alfie190 Sun 11-Nov-18 13:18:47

There is nothing wrong with not attending work social events, I have not for years and it has not been an issue. However I am friendly with my colleagues and I don't have these "boundaries" or rules about never mentioning my personal life. I find that a bit odd and you are perhaps coming across as stand offish for that rather than for not going on nights out.

blueshoes Sun 11-Nov-18 18:57:43

Are you going for a promotion at work and your manager is advising you how to raise your profile?

Otherwise, if raising your profile is a part of your job (which it does not seem to be because you say it 100% does not affect your work), then it is not right for the manager to put pressure on you to attend.

Can you invent some personal responsibilities to explain why you need to leave the office on time? You shouldn't have to do this but for the sake of shutting your manager up, you may need to.

I know 2 colleagues who are intensely private and don't like to talk about their personal lives. People should respect that and in my office they do.

blueshoes Sun 11-Nov-18 18:58:20

raising your profile is not a part of your job

RetiredNotExpired Sun 11-Nov-18 19:18:17

I had this issue with my last employer, mostly around 'team-building' events as a previous poster has mentioned.My stance was always "why do I want to go and do 'X' with you lot, when I wouldn't ever go and do X off my own bat? Especially if I've experience of X and don't enjoy it?"

They wriggle and look uncomfortable.

Then look 'em straight in the eye and say "What's wrong with, or missing from, my work relationships with my colleagues?"

They wriggle even more.

It's none of your managers business, imo. A work relationship with colleagues often has to be worked at, but a personal relationship with work colleagues will either develop organically, or it won't. Trying to force something is a waste of time. Your manager should wind their neck in smile

confusedandemployed Sun 11-Nov-18 19:23:33

I'll attend the odd social but on the whole my personal and work lives are totally separate. I never add colleagues on social media, feel no remorse about missing the Christmas party (luckily my sister's birthday is 2 weeks before Christmas so it very often works out that any plans for that clash with the work do,).
I have plenty of friends, why would I want to spend any more time with work colleagues than I already do?!

Alexandra2018 Sun 11-Nov-18 19:51:52

We get badgered into work events and they don't except a no there's several emails and chats as to why your not coming confused I just don't want to isn't enough for them

waterandlemonjuice Sun 11-Nov-18 19:53:05

How did your manager phrase it?

drquin Sun 11-Nov-18 19:56:52

Any chance it might be the very act of declaring that you have barriers between work and personal life? That can seem, to some, as negative.

Not saying it is, or is right or wrong. Just the point of saying you have a "barrier" kind of creates a line in the sand between the two. Which maybe is what you want, of course.

I think I separate work & personal, in that I will socialise when it involves "friends" rather than just work colleagues, I'll easily go to leaving drinks if it's to wish someone I like well in their future. I'll happily chat away about home life with SOME people ...... but equally I'm not going to discuss my sex life or remortgaging with my boss. Conversely the guy at the next desk had a Howdens catalogue, so I asked if he was getting a new kitchen & talked about mine. So, like most folk I do have a line ...... I just don't make a point of declaring that I do. IYSWIM.

Organic is how someone up-thread described it. By being so forthright about declaring you keep work & personal separate could be seen as pre-judging, in that you're saying you'll never become friends with anyone at work, you'll never go for a drink. Whereas it's easy to so that, by just being unavailable each drinks night.

waterandlemonjuice Sun 11-Nov-18 20:01:18

My view is that an employer shouldn’t expect you to attend out of hours events or to socialise in your own time. But when you are fairly senior it is sometimes expected, annoyingly. I have often said when asked if I’m attending something “no, I can’t” and haven’t given any further explanation as it’s none of their business. But, I am not trying to progress in my career as I’m an interim so I get in, do the job and get out again so I don’t care if I’m not considered for xyz promotion as I’m only ever anywhere fairly short term.

I also have kids, a husband, friends, cats, a busy social life and I don’t want to socialise after work. So I never add people on Facebook, I use LinkedIn for professional relationships unless I’ve left somewhere and am genuinely friends with someone.

Bestseller Sun 11-Nov-18 20:02:23

I agree with you op. I haven't gone out of my way to not be friends and over the years ive had colleagues who I've been quite close to when I'm at work. I've always kept work and home separate though which I believed to be the professional thing and seemed to be the norm when I worked in the City.

Now I work closer to home, as do most of my colleagues, there is lots of crossover and I don't quite "fit" as I don't mix outside of work. It's a not that I deliberately don't it just doesn't seem right to me. It takes me a really long time to become proper friends with someone, but I so that if suggest netting up outside of our usually contact. Some people seem to be able to do it very quickly.

thatmustbenigelwiththebrie Mon 12-Nov-18 12:28:31

I am also not keen on socialising with colleagues as I have a busy life anyway.

However, I do think it can "look bad" (rightly or wrongly) so I make sure I go about 3 times a year for an hour or so just so I am not seen as a total recluse.

FlamingJuno Mon 12-Nov-18 12:39:18

When I worked in a large multi-national professional services firm it was expected that not only would you socialise with colleagues, you would socialise with clients and would trawl your personal network for opportunities to turn those relationships into professional (i.e. fee-earning) ones.

The expectation was that your "professional friends" would take precedence over your personal friends. It was not uncommon for senior people and their families to take holidays with clients and their families, to spend weekends together and basically live in each others pockets. If you tried to limit that, it would definitely be brought up in appraisal and you would be told to make more effort.

blueshoes Mon 12-Nov-18 12:47:59

It was not uncommon for senior people and their families to take holidays with clients and their families, to spend weekends together and basically live in each others pockets.

May I ask which sector this is in and is it a UK/European based firm?

It sounds horrible.

MakeAHouseAHome Mon 12-Nov-18 13:15:02

Thanks all. I asked if there were any concerns around my job/work output as a result of this and was told categorically no, in fact my work oitput was specifically praised.

I see what people mean about stating the barriers thing may have been the issue but I find it easier to be upfront about my permenant reason for not wanting to go rather than making up an excuse each time :-/

OP’s posts: |
Isleepinahedgefund Mon 12-Nov-18 13:23:11

It sounds a bit like he just wanted to criticise something, couldn't pick on your work so picked instead.

I think work/life balance is important, I keep mine very separate too and I don't socialise except for the Christmas lunch as it is in work time. I still join in at work in work time with all the conversation etc but I'm not giving up my time.

I used to socialise with colleagues but it just led to a lot of trouble both in and out of work. I'm not there to make friends - I'm there to do my job and get paid!

My manager had an issue with me refusing to use my personal phone for work, and for refusing to be in the work WhatsApp group - I am in it on my work mobile and therefore can send/receive messages in work time. It's taken a year but he finally got the message!

FlamingJuno Mon 12-Nov-18 13:56:47

Blueshoes I'm not going to name the firm, but professional services - so think law, accountancy, consulting that sort of thing. It's a multi-national firm with global HQ in the States.

blueshoes Mon 12-Nov-18 14:23:43

FlamingJuno no names of course, I did not expect you to. I work for a US law firm with offices around the world. I was guessing it would be US-based rather than UK/European-based but what you describe is still pretty extreme IME.

blueshoes Mon 12-Nov-18 14:33:39

I see what people mean about stating the barriers thing may have been the issue but I find it easier to be upfront about my permenant reason for not wanting to go rather than making up an excuse each time :-/

OP, did you actually come out and tell people that you prefer to keep your work and personal life separate? If so, that is quite an unusual flag to plant in the workplace. It is more socially acceptable to tell lie to people what is the personal thing which prevents you from socialising (e.g. long commute, caring responsibilities) and then attend one or two high profile events to satisfy your manager and show willing.

If you are senior-ish, you have to play the game a little. But if you are happy doing what you do and not want to progress, then fine to opt out and not have friends or more informal allies in the office.

MakeAHouseAHome Mon 12-Nov-18 14:37:00

Blueshoes, only when my not attending social work events/gping to lunch with colleagues etc. was mentioned by my Manager. I have never said it more broadly to people - I just don't go to things.

OP’s posts: |
whatisforteamum Sat 17-Nov-18 16:52:12

I keep work and home life seperate.I always have done as I have social phobia and.anxiety.around eating out

.Besides I'm very open to chatting at work to everyone.After 55 hours a.week I am more than happy to.see.DS and DR and.be.alone TBH.Also I am twice the age of everyone.else at least.so when I finish at 10 my bed.beckons me.
It.is.strange.when colleagues NEVER discuss their homelife.though.

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