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Pros and Cons of Working with Family

They always say that blood is thicker than water. Family first. It’s all in the family. But do these truths carry in the workplace? Working with your family can have many advantages, but surely there are some disadvantages. Let’s take a look at what those could be.  

 

Pros:  

  1. It’s your family – you know them and they know you:  There is something calming about knowing that you don’t have to sell yourself to someone. Working with family certainly can save time and stress on that front. Your family likely knows your strengths and weaknesses and vice versa. With this knowledge already in place, you can get going on building your business plan faster and getting going because there is no time spent on these preliminary steps.  
  2. You like them and they like you (we hope!): While liking the people you work with isn’t always considered essential, we believe that it is really important, especially when venturing out and creating your own business. With family, assuming that you like each other, the lack of animosity will create a much happier and therefore more productive work environment. Furthermore, there is the belief that when working alongside someone whom you admire and like, the chances of better work and therefore success is higher.  
  3. Familiarity and camaraderie comes built in: As mentioned above, a positive work environment is often linked to higher productivity. Working with someone who’s company you enjoy, who shares interests with you and who you can joke with really helps maintain this positive environment.  
  4. Trust: The circle of trust doesn’t really have to grow, and that can be very comforting to many people. Your inner circle remains small and conversations can be had more candidly around family members because you trust them. Families have a tendency to have each other’s backs. You don’t have to put out weird feelers and devise tests for family members because the trust is just innate.  

 

Cons:  

  1. Discipline: Disciplining employees is never easy, and it could become even harder with someone as close to you as a family member. These kinds of situations can be very awkward and uncomfortable and can result in family disputes.  
  2. Rules: Some family members might find it hard to obey by the rules set by a sibling or parent. They may feel that they are above these “mundane” rules because after all, they’re family! This idea that rules do not apply can lead to some nasty work habits and can really disrupt the work environment.  
  3. Separating relationship from the job: Because your family is your family above all else, it can be hard to compartmentalize that when at work. Jumping around from title to nickname can’t be simple, and because of this difficulty in making the distinction, family members may have a hard time figuring out what their role is. Furthermore, it may lead to inappropriate behavior or treatment due to the confused expectations. 
  4. Resentment: If something bad happens or if one member becomes more successful than the other, there is a high possibility that some resentment may form. While it wouldn’t be intentional, this resentment can have lasting effects on familial relationships and have a ripple effect on the entire family.  

So, with these contrasting opinions, what do you think about working with family? Would you take the risk? Share your experience in the comment section below!