It goes without saying that in an ideal world we would all work with our friends, right?
Afterall, our colleagues are the people we spend the most time with. So it naturally follows that if these people are also our friends it’s going to make your work-life a whole lot more enjoyable. Work doesn’t feel like work when you’re hanging around with your pals all day (well alright, it feels less like work at least).
But what if we told you that having strong workplace friendships not only makes life a little more fun, but it’s also highly beneficial for you (and your employer) in more ways than one. In fact, there’s a whole range of benefits that come with having solid friendships at work.
So don’t feel guilty next time you’re chatting with a colleague over a coffee in the kitchen, you’re simply strengthening your workplace bonds which is beneficial for your organisation as well as you as a professional.
We work better with friends. And that’s not just our opinion. Studies show that a group of friends working on a project perform better than a group of acquaintances.
Friends know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, so when it comes to dishing out tasks it’s no wonder that we can do so more efficiently. And at the end of the day, no one wants to let their friends down so the likelihood of us trying our best is higher.
Another benefit can be that working on a task with friends typically puts us in a better mood, which subsequently means that we are better able to get through any hurdles that may come our way. Facing adversity as a solid group reduces levels of pressure or anxiety as the load is shared.
Often one of the biggest sources of stress for people is a boss, colleague or project at work. So to have close friends in your place of work who immediately understand and can empathise with certain situations can be a huge stress relief. Someone trusted who you can to vent to and can help you cope with everyday pressures is immensely valuable in the workplace.
It’s no wonder that 70% of people cited positive workplace friendships as the most crucial element to a happy working life.
But remember, making the right friends is absolutely key. The wrong friendship group at work could potentially be detrimental. Whilst the rights ones have the potential to be a hugely positive influence on your career.
Sometimes at work, we need that person who will talk to you honestly about the way things are. Whether that’s the truth about the amount of time you spend on Slack, the truth about how that staff email you’re about to send might be interpreted by certain people or even just the truth about how often you have your hand in that cookie jar. Either way, that’s a voice you need to hear.
And if they aren’t there to give you the home truths, there’s a good chance someone higher will spot a mistake and bring it up to you. Who would you rather hear it from? Finding people you can talk to openly and honestly about work is a rare and valuable thing. Find it, and hold onto it!
Speaking to someone you have a genuine connection with boosts your mood, morale and can be a source of strength. Being part of a friendship group makes you feel loved and cared for. So it follows that content employees who feel happy in a place are far more likely to refrain from looking elsewhere.
Feel free to drop this post in a staff email to catch your Managers’ eye. Who knows, maybe there’ll suddenly be more budget for social activities!