Businesses are becoming flatter, more collaborative and less siloed, but what does that mean socially?
As Ivory Towers crumble and fall to the ground, and business leaders make themselves more ‘approachable’, the professional boundaries between employee and employer are becoming less concrete. Should lines be drawn?
Speaking to us, Simon Dalley, Brand Manager at BrightHR, says: “Over the last couple of decades technology has changed our relationship with work, and our colleagues, immeasurably.
“In days gone by, managers and business owners felt it was important to retain a ‘professional distance’ from their employees which often bred an ‘us and them’ mentality, where trust between the management and the team was low.
“As technology has increasingly reduced the numbers of middle management within business, senior managers and business owners themselves are working more closely with their employees.”
Business Grapevine recently conducted a poll of over 300 business leaders, asking the question: Should you socialise with employees outside of work?
The majority of respondents (70%) believe the answer is yes, however, the question provoked a less binary discussion into the topic.
Beth Oldakowski, believes that it’s not so ‘black and white’, she writes on LinkedIn: “It depends on; the size of the company, if the employees knew each other prior to employment, how they are socialising etc.
“Overall, I think that as long as they keep work and personal separate, it is fine to socialise outside of work.”
A few responses on Twitter followed a similar train of thought…
@BusinessGV everything is within reason. All the time? Probably not, but you don't want to be aloof or a snob either.— Dean Karrel (@DeanKarrel) December 21, 2016
@BusinessGV A social gathering once in a while isn't a bad thing, but become "besties" is probably not a great idea. Keep it separate.— Tim G (@Timmy_G123) December 21, 2016
However, others wholeheartedly supported socialising with employees…