1.3b Explain how a working relationship is different from a personal relationship

It is important that you are able to distinguish between working relationships and personal relationships.


Working relationships are the professional relationships that you have with colleagues, clients and other professionals whilst you are in a work environment. Other specifications of a working relationship include:

  • It is bound by policies, procedures and agreed ways of working
  • It is unequal – you will know more personal details about the clients you support than they do about you
  • It is usually paid for (excepting voluntary work)
  • It has constraints of time and location (relationship exists only when on shift and in a working environment)

Personal relationships are the relationships that you have with your friends and family and are not bound by any formal rules or regulations. Aspects of a personal relationship include:

  • It can be intimate (touching, hugging, kissing, sex etc.)
  • It is mutual – both individuals choose the nature and boundaries of the relationship
  • It can occur at any place at any time (outside of working hours)
  • Socialising together is permitted
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