Many of us relied on our existing work relationships (even remotely) during the pandemic – a time when limited interactions reduced opportunities to make new friends. But as much of the world of work transitions to a hybrid setup, employees can finally come together to engage in face-to-face social activities once again.
Whether it’s boosting productivity or increasing work satisfaction, work friendships can greatly impact people’s careers, studies have shown.
Having work friends benefits employees
Relationships play a crucial role in building a healthy and productive workforce, according to a 2021 study by Wildgoose.
When it comes to having close friends at work, three in five employees believe that having a best friend makes work more enjoyable, as the survey showed.
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Meanwhile, one in five feel that having work friends makes them more productive. A similar percentage also believes that such friendships give them a boost of creativity.
However, a study by Gallup revealed that only three in 10 employees worldwide say they have a best friend in the workplace.
Employees who foster good relationships with co-workers tend to have a healthier work-life balance, which brings an increase in work performance and job satisfaction.
Why having a best friend is important for your career
Having work friends boosts productivity.
Close relationships provide a boost in employee productivity as it brings more trust, commitment and better communication to the team. Workmates who are also close friends tend to get along more easily than those who aren’t.
Having best friends at work can therefore improve job satisfaction, happiness and overall productivity. As such, fostering good friendships enables better workplace performance.
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Friendships make work less tedious.
Work can be stressful at times. However, studies show that having a buddy you can hang out with can help you de-stress after work and even lessen the burnout you might be experiencing.
You can be engaged and motivated. There’s a tendency for employees to become disengaged at work when they don’t know the people around them. Having a work best friend can give employees meaningful engagement and motivate them to do better in their tasks and projects.
Better friendships mean better team chemistry.
Having close connections with teammates will help you engage your work better. And as you spend more time together, even remotely, you will have more chances to grow at the same time and build better rapport in the long term.
Having best friends allows us to share our daily lives at work in a more meaningful and ‘human’ way, especially at a time when social isolation from remote or hybrid work tends to be common.