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Chika Uwazie’s TalentBase: Is It Possible To Work With A Family Member?



So imagine you find yourself in an unusual situation; working with an actual family member! That’s crazy isn’t it? I can think of a million and one reasons why that is a completely horrible idea, but let me just list four;

  • You know everything about each other
  • Extra level of emotional attachment (which might lead to unnecessary office politics)
  • The authority dynamics in the family might be an issue
  • You might become over protective

Do you see how tricky this types of situations are? But is it really possible to work with a family member? Of course it is; Anything is possible!

Here are some tips:

Do what you need to do
First of all, you need to acknowledge each other’s position and come to an agreement that both of you will work together on a neutral and professional ground. If there’s ever an issue, it should be addressed immediately, as professionally as possible and make sure to keep your personal lives out of it.

No preferential treatment
Yes, we might be tempted to treat our family members better than everyone else; after all, family comes first. Right? – Wrong! At least just in this particular situation. Everyone at the office is an employee, therefore you need to treat everyone equally; keep it respectful and professional because the last thing you need it office politics and unnecessary drama.

Come out of the closet
It is actually very strange but I have seen people hide the fact that they work with a family member. People will eventually find out, so why hide it in the first place? It will only create unnecessary questions, doubts and trust issues. You really do not want that.

Make sure everyone knows that you are working with your family member; but, like I said earlier, no preferential treatment.

Put a pen on it
Now this might come off as a little harsh, but the both of you need to sign a contract clearly stating each person’s role and responsibilities. This will help create trust and transparency in the workplace and put the other employees at ease which is what you need for perfect harmony.

No matter who you are, working with a family member is always weird. That is why you need to approach this situation with caution and consideration.

If you think I missed anything, please let me know in the comment section below.

TalentBase is a HR & Payroll software for growing enteprisesin Nigeria. We help all companies automate their HR tasks. To learn more about TalentBase visit us at www.talentbase.ngFollow us on LinkedIn Medium & Twitter for more tips and job opportunities. Follow the talentbase team at @TalentbaseNG for more HR tips


  1. angry bird

    March 15, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    I do not know how people do it but i am not sure i can work with a relative. Things as little as planning a wedding with a relative can cause chaos let alone work. Drawing the line may be difficult but i think it is manageable. but its a no for me 🙂 🙂

  2. Official

    March 15, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    Hello Bellanaija,

    Please how may I get in touch with TalentBase? Is there a phone number through which I may do so? I need to make some enquiries regarding their services.

    Looking forward to a prompt response. Thanks!

  3. LisaO

    March 15, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    I think your title should be reworded – solely because most big enterprises/corporations in Nigeria and Indeed – developing countries are family oriented companies.
    Read on the Ibru, Murray-Bruce, Dantata, Okoya families etc.
    So family members have worked together for too long to question the possibility of this. Maybe you were trying to examine ‘how to manage family relationships in the work place?’

  4. Yummychickcummummy

    March 15, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    My former boss n his wife has their company in d building .. it was hell . D woman get suspicious of every girl that comes to his office!

  5. Frank teacher

    March 15, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    I have two sisters as cashiers in same office. The day they’ll defraud the… ehn,
    Yes, they’re in the closet

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