To save some money, my colleague and I decided to start car sharing to and from work. Our workplace operates a flexible working policy between 7 and 7 and we often come in early and leave early to avoid traffic, which has never been a problem and a lot of colleagues do the same.
We tend to try and work around our meetings and if either of us need to stay late for something, the other does also and vice versa. This has been working really well for us both, however recently my manager has made comments about it being unprofessional to be car sharing and said we should stop - stating that it was due to creating outside relationships with colleagues. There’s no policy against socialising with colleagues, but obviously the fact that it’s been pointed out and made a big deal of makes it awkward. My employer actually promotes groups, etc. within the workplace. For what it's worth, we’re both straight men and both of us are working in the same team at the same level.
This has never affected our jobs and we still come and go at the same time as we always have, the only thing that has changed is the fact that we come in and go together.
How can I approach my manager about this? How would this be regarded unprofessional? He clearly has no issue with the work timings, as everyone in our office has certain times they come and go which has been this way for a long time. We work in a busy city centre, so we would consider it to be better for the environment and the people living in the area to reduce the number of vehicles.
This has made it awkward for us both, because people now make a big deal as a joke when we come and go, but our manager seems to be taking it seriously. He doesn’t see how it is affecting us based off how other colleagues are texting to it, especially since we’re not entirely sure what we’ve done wrong.