Should employees leave their personal lives entirely behind them when they enter the workplace, as the speaker suggests here? While I agree that employees should not allow their personal lives to interfere with their jobs, the speaker fails to consider that integrating personal life with work can foster a workplace ambiance that helps everyone do a better job, thereby promoting success for the organization.
Engaging coworkers in occasional conversation about personal interests and activities can help build collegiality among coworkers that adds to their sense of common purpose on the job. Managers would be well advised to participate in and perhaps even plan the sharing of personal informationas a leadership tool as well as a morale booster. An employee feels valued when the boss takes time to ask about the employees family or recent vacation. The employee, in turn, is likely to be more loyal to and cooperative with the boss. Company-sponsored social events picnics, parties, excursions, and so forthalso help to produce greater cohesiveness in an organization, by providing opportunities for employees to bond with one another in ways that translate into better working relationships.
Admittedly, employees should guard against allowing their personal life to impinge upon their job performance or intrude on coworkers. Excessive chatting about nun business topics, frequent personal telephone calls, and the like, are always distracting. And romances between coworkers are best kept confidential, at least to the extent they disrupt work or demoralize or offend other employees. By the same token, however, employees who are too aloofsharing nothing personal with othersmay be resented by coworkers who perceive them as arrogant, unfriendly, or uncooperative. The ill-will and lack of communication that is likely to result may ultimately harm the organization.