All organizations whether big or small are melting pots of diverse ideas, experiences, cultures, and mindsets. They are also the breeding grounds for forming long-lasting friendships with people at work. Apart from food and shelter, having a sense of belonging is a basic yet major human need. Also, since we spend a major part of our day i.e. 8-9 hours at work, it’s only obvious that having friends at work can help us get through the proverbial monotonous work day!
A 'relationships at work' study conducted by LinkedIn found that 46% of working professionals believe that work friends are important to their overall happiness. Gallup’s extensive research on the subject of workplace friendships which surveyed 15 million employees all over the world, asked whether they have a best friend at work and here are the findings: 30% employees have a best friend at work. They are seven times more likely to be engaged in their jobs. They are better at engaging customers and produce a higher quality of work and are less likely to get injured at work. Lastly, 27 % of employees with best friends at work reported that their opinions seem to count at work.
How can having friends at work help?
- Psychological support – Imagine having a bad day at work and not having anyone to share your feelings with versus having a support network at work. The latter situation gives you the strength to go through any crisis knowing that someone has your back.
- Makes work enjoyable – We all spend a considerable amount of our waking hours at work. And what can be more fun than hanging out with friends? Whether that's having a conversation over a cup of coffee or going for a walk after lunch, having a friend at work can make one look forward to work every day.
- Collaborative work environment – working with friends makes it easier for one to reach work decisions faster and it also promotes a healthy work culture with less focus on fostering self-interest and more focus on teamwork and collaboration. Progressive organizations understand that it’s imperative to give its employees a chance to mingle and form friendships for this reason.
- Career Move – Having the right set of friends at work can propel your career. Also, most people are in their present jobs as a result of being referred by their friends. No one minds having a familiar face around at work while making that extra buck!
Forming friendships at work isn’t easy. We all take our time to trust people. The road from just being work colleagues to being friends and opening up about our feelings, apprehensions and real opinions is a long one. Nevertheless, having someone to fall back on at work is quintessential and in most cases, if you don’t like the people you work with, there are high chances that you won’t like your job either and will quit it sooner than later!
Image Credits: Coburg Banks