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Siblings in the Same Workplace

Holly Hicks,

Siblings in the Same Workplace

Since our childhood our siblings have been our best of friends and at the same time worst of the enemies. No matter how much you love them, a simple conflict with them turns into the biggest of the fights. “SIBLING RIVALRY” is a term which we all have been well associated with in our life time.

The issue of siblings in the same workplace has nothing to do with if it’s legal or illegal. It is definitely legal and there is no law which states that siblings can’t work together. But yes, some companies definitely have such policies which do not allow the family members or cousins or in-laws to work at the same place. Like everything does, this too has its pros and cons attached to it. Idealistically, there is nothing wrong with siblings in the same workplace. But sometimes the office politics gets so bad that it gets slammed in one’s face in the form of someone losing their jobs.

There are times when the siblings can gang up together and can cause difficulties for fellow co-workers. And also at the same time the siblings can destroy the work atmosphere by fighting with each other or just by bringing ego issues amongst themselves. The key to such problems can best be to avoid getting into all such traps and office politics and try focusing yourself in your work. Competition between two people can always cause a sour work environment, and if the competition is between two siblings it can definitely worsen the issue. Brothers and sisters would obviously try to be better than each other. This in some way can prove profitable and can bring benefits to the company, but if in case one sibling is promoted or comes in a leadership role, then the behaviour can turn into jealously.

This in the end becomes the company’s responsibility to address such conflicts. It would thus be the duty of the supervisor to define the limits for both the siblings. This would clearly mean that the supervisor would direct both the employees (who are siblings too) on where and what department they have an authority over and also minimizing their direct involvement into each others work. It is also important for the employer to understand that the two siblings are different people and have different capabilities of doing their work. Comparing the two can definitely provoke sibling rivalry between them, thus causing a bad work environment and also by comparing the two will lessen their strengths and will negate their ability to work together.

If taken positively, the ties of the siblings can improve the performance and can add much more efficiency to the work environment. But like all relationships, the siblings too come with a burden of liabilities that can hamper the work place and will lessen the performance level. It is definitely best to avoid working at the same place as your sibling does because no matter how much you try,  jealously does makes its way through your relationship.

Image courtesy of (photostock) from

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1 Comment

  1. Melly says:

    Very helpful. I was thinking about a scenario where me and my sister will be working in the same company and this article has enlightened me about the possibilities if such a scenario would happen.

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