Cultivate workplace connections for success! Explore the dynamics of workplace friendships, from finding work buddies to building strong relationships. Learn the art of workplace relationship management for professional growth and fulfillment.
You spend more time at the workplace than at home (considering waking hours). When you spend a major part of your life at the workplace, it is natural that you will have a work friend or many work friends. So, what is the importance of workplace friendships?
Are there any tangible benefits of office friendships? Are work friends real friends? We look at the answers to these and many other questions related to friendship at the workplace.
Workplace friendship – the concept
Friendship at workplace is common with every one having at least one close friend at work. When you join a new workplace, you will generally find a work buddy. The work buddy may be someone from your team with whom you work daily. It could also be someone from another team, or someone with whom you have lunch daily, or commute,
If you want to succeed at work, then workplace relationship building is important. You must have good relations with everyone at your workplace. You can start off by making a few good work friends with whom you bond together. Even if you are an introvert, having a few close friends at work will help you improve your workplace relationship management.
Why have friends at the work place?
There are many reasons why you must have friends at the place where you work. A study was done recently by Gallup in the post-pandemic period. The following are some highlights of this study:
44% of those having a best friend recommended their organization as a good place to work.
49% of those who had a good work friend said they were not actively looking for another job.
32% of people with a work friend said they were satisfied with their job, as compared to 15% who did not have a work friend.
The study clearly highlights the role of friends at work. They don’t just offer companionship, but also have an impact on work. The study by Gallup concludes that people who had a good work friend would:
Engage with customers better.
Be more productive and also more efficient.
Be more likely to come out with innovations and ideas for improvement.
Ensure that the workplace is safe.
Have fun and enjoy work instead of treating it as drudgery.
From the study, we find work buddies drive outcomes at work. There is a definite and strong link between work buddies and productivity.
Benefits of workplace friendships
1) Helps in improving job satisfaction
Job satisfaction does not depend only on the work you do and the salary you earn. It also depends on the work environment and how engaged you are at work. Having a good friend at work will enthuse you and make you more involved in work. You will be able to work better and produce better results. The result is better job satisfaction.
2) Helps reduce stress and burnout
The competitive world we live in has ensured that stress has become commonplace. Everyone experiences stress in some form or the other. Some tend to get highly stressed and are not able to handle it. The result can be a burnout, leading to loss of productivity with a negative effect on their careers.
If you have a best friend at work, the friend will stand with you through thick and thin. Such a friend will support you during difficult times and help you manage stress better. When employees form workplace friendships, they enjoy work with a fun-filled atmosphere. It is a great way to beat stress.
3) Helps you build relationships
Connections are important in today’s world. Making friends at work helps you build connections. You can get to build connections with other people through your friends. It can give you a distinct edge during promotions, transfers, or when you look for a new job. Building relationships in the workplace benefits you in more ways than one.
4) Brings out the best in you
If you work mechanically and focus on just getting things done, the results are unlikely to be great. If you want to achieve your full potential, then you must put in your best effort. You need to focus on the work, and show active interest. With a good friend at work, this can become a reality.
A work buddy will help you with your work and can motivate you to do well. They can come out with ideas and suggestions to help you perform better. Having a group of friends motivates you to do well. It brings out the best in you, helping you succeed in your career.
5) Helps the business
In the past, managements tend to disapprove workplace friendships. Their logic was that it would lead to people wasting time talking. But today, managements encourage you to make friends because they know it helps their business. Strong bonds between employees helps improve their productivity. They can not only achieve their goals, but reach higher.
The improved productivity and efficiency helps the business do well. Workplace friendship makes the work environment friendly. It helps in reducing employee turnover. Promotion workplace friendship helps the management build a positive work culture. Such a culture helps in enhanced employee engagement.
Is it possible for work friends to be real friends?
The answer is a resounding yes. Your friendship with your colleague need not be restricted to work. They can be real friends outside work too. Such a friendship can be long-lasting and extend beyond work. It is a known fact that office friendships may blossom into love and lead to marriage. Of course, some organizations may frown at it. But generally, close relationship between employees are encouraged.
Here are some tips to help you convert your work friend to a ‘friend for life’:
Be professional while dealing with your friend, however close they are outside work.
Set boundaries, so you don’t mix work relationships with personal relationships.
Never gossip with work friends outside work.
Build relationships by getting to know their interests, and meeting them (and their family) outside work.
A work friend can become a real friend. You can form a relationship that lasts a lifetime, one that benefits you both.