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Co-workers outside of work

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Have you ever run into a co-worker outside of work and you almost didn’t even RECOGNIZE the person?

I have had this happen on multiple occasions.  I have had 2 real big-kid type of jobs: one where you wear casual clothing to work, and another where you where business formal.

Business formal attire allows you to see the business-work-9-5 personality of a person.  Are they on time?  Do they work hard?  Do they produce results?  But we rarely ever see that person’s personality.  For example – I found out the other day that someone I work with has a child.  I HAD NO IDEA THIS PERSON HAD A CHILD!  It’s really not that big of a deal that she has children, however I felt like a horrible person for not knowing.

It’s easy to think we know our co-workers, but to what extent do we really know them on a personal (not professional) level?  This really becomes relevant when you run into co-workers outside of work.  You notice the clothes they wear, the way they do their hair or makeup, and the people that they’re with.  You see this person every single day and have no idea that they go to the same gym as you, or that they even go to the gym.  You don’t realize they have children or a significant other.

I’m not sure how I feel about this – I am still trying to form an opinion.  I do believe that at work we need to be professional and leave our baggage at the door.  But in order to work effectively in a team environment, shouldn’t you understand your co-workers and the things that make them most productive?  Shouldn’t we know the person working alongside us more than just, “They can draft a report in no-time-flat!”

I’d love to hear everyone’s opinion on this topic!

4 responses »

  1. Enjoyed reading through this, very good stuff, regards .

  2. I’m not saying I’m right or wrong, but I tend to leave my baggage at the door and try to focus on work. But depending on the culture of the office, getting to know about people’s passions and “outside self” can be invaluable when trying to connect and understand them in the office.



    • Kelly – thank you for your comment! I agree – for the sake of getting work done in a timely manner, it’s important to leave your baggage at the door.


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