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September 20, 2018

How Workplace Friendships Can Be a Key to Productivity and Happiness

Usually employees spend the majority of their working hours at their workplace, so they are in constant touch with one another, learning each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Being colleagues at a workplace means interaction, communication, and collaboration; but in many instances the office picture isn’t all that delightful. People get too competitive; get up in arms with one another regarding certain issues, and office politics thrives. 

A genuine office friendship, on the other hand, focuses only on collective strength. A good camaraderie between colleagues not only makes them feel happy, but results in them being more engaged in their work. This is in line with the results found by the HR solutions company Globoforce which showed that employees with best work friends are significantly more committed to their companies.

If you are spending between a third and a half of your time every week at work, your relationship with your colleagues could be a defining factor in terms of success and failure. It may appear far-fetched, but a good workplace friendship is one of the key predictors of your happiness at work. Furthermore, having someone by your side who also goes through the good times and bad experiences with you is just invaluable. 

How friendships at work lead to greater productivity and engagement

As a matter of fact, you tend to be more creative and productive when you experience positive emotions and stronger motivation toward the work you do along with positive perceptions of your organization. Thus one of the components that contribute to positive emotions is a sense of camaraderie with your teammates – a sense of bonding and mutual trust. 

Fostering a good rapport is vital to the modern work experience

Having a cordial peer-to-peer relationship is important to your work life because it has an incredible impact in terms of engagement and happiness. Most people know instinctively that co-worker relationships matter a lot because they have experienced the impact first-hand. Good friends at the workplace act as allies and partners who look out for each other and advance one another’s interests. According to a study conducted by Gallup, employees with a best friend at work are up to seven times as engaged as those without. 

Thus connecting with like minded people at the workplace boosts your mood and morale, and a great camaraderie provides you with the emotional and psychological strength to deal with whatever comes your way. Good relationships at workplaces foster improved team work. When people already know one another well, they are much more likely to work well together. On the other hand, people who are barely on speaking terms, take time to initiate a conversation in order to begin to work together.

Having friends at work increases commitment to the organization

Having even just one friend at work can make a significant difference. The employees who don’t feel connected to their organizations through their co-workers tend to be disconnected from their organizations in every way. On the other hand, employees having a good relationship with most of their peers are much more deeply connected to their companies. Consequently, creating a culture that prioritizes and cultivates friendship and emotional ties can go a long way in fostering a positive life journey. In other words, the extra layer of comfort due to having good friends at work makes the work feel a lot easier. 

The question that emerges here is how to create a good rapport with your co-workers? Well, there are many ways to break the ice. Off-site retreats, social events, and office parties can be a catalyst for friendship. At such events, people love to share their personal stories, preferred work styles, and interests/hobbies. If you are having a hard time in making good friends at your workplace, you can use these events as an opportunity to reach out to your colleagues. For example, gifting wine bottles with personalized labels can be an excellent ice breaker for laying a strong foundation of good friendship with your co-workers. 

Better workplace friendship makes a better company culture

The more affinity you have with your colleagues, the better the culture of your office will be. The close relationships that you are making within your workplace will not only make your life better, but it will also make your office a breeding ground for further companionship among newcomers. It also works wonders for employee recognition within the office. Instead of coming from management, praise and appreciation will come organically from the people around you. A good company culture is also important for personal development because it provides motivation and self-confidence. 

Final Words

The value of good friendship at the workplace cannot be ignored. People who work in close quarters know and understand each other and value each other’s roles in the organization. Workplace friendships make people happier and more engaged, thereby resulting in better service to clients and customers.


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Smith Willas is a freelance writer, blogger, and digital media journalist. He has a management degree in Supply Chain & Operations Management and Marketing and boasts a wide-ranging background in digital media.

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