Why IT Managers Can’t Be Friends with Reports

As in every industry, some IT professionals occasionally come across a moment when they have to make a decision: Can they be friends with their boss?  Or if they’re an IT manager, can they be friends with the IT consultants who report to them?  Whether you’re in information technology or zoology, the answer to this question is pretty much always a resounding no—both for the sake of IT contractors and managers.  Here are a few reasons why managers and their reports need to hold off on friendship—for the sake of their IT jobs and their own mental health.

  1. An imbalance of power.  The nature of friendship is usually that both parties are equal in most aspects.  Things get awkward and uncomfortable quickly when it feels like one person is better in a really significant way.  It’s pretty much guaranteed this will happen between managers and the people whose resumes they heavily influence and judge.  For your own sanity, then, it’s better to hold off on this kind of friendship.
  2. Friendship involves some vulnerability—something you don’t want to have with your manager or reports.  Friends help each other out in tough times or advise each other.  They’re also honest and open about most things.  As a manager or report, you don’t want any of this in the workplace. Managers should be resources, but pretty much only on work-related matters.  Reports should support their managers, but only on work-related matters.  Things will get confusing and awkward quickly when you add personal problems and vulnerability to the mix.
  3. Managers sometimes need to—and do—fire their reports.  Firing somebody or being fired are traumatic enough events.  Adding friendship to the equation makes an already unpleasant circumstance unbearable.  Don’t take that risk, even if things look very rosy right now.

AVID Technical Resources About AVID Technical Resources
AVID (Applications, Voice, Internet, Data) Technical Resources is a leading Information Technology recruiting company. Specializing in placing contract and permanent personnel in both Infrastructure Support and Applications Development positions, AVID has a national presence supporting clients ranging from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies. Headquartered in Boston, MA, AVID has achieved tremendous growth since the firm's inception in 2003. This has triggered numerous national awards and recognition, such as being named to Inc. 500 Magazine's list of 5,000 Fastest Growing Privately-held Companies in the US in 2010, 2011 and 2013. Additionally, the firm boasts of having more than 100 five-star reviews on Google from clients and candidates who rave about their experience and interaction with the firm's recruiters.