The Benefits of Having Friends At Work

The Benefits of Having Friends At Work

Since the pandemic, more people have been working from home or in a hybrid work environment. If you do either, you probably realize one of the biggest challenges of not being in the office all the time - a lack of human interaction. People crave social interactions, and you need to find a way to have friends at work, even if you’re not always in the office. Find out more about the benefits of having friends at work.

The Statistics and Facts

According to one Indeed survey, 73% of people missed the social part of working in an office during the pandemic. Even if they loved everything else about working from home, they missed socializing. In 2022, a Gallup poll noted that there was a connection between workplace satisfaction and connections in the office.

There’s another interesting result from the Gallup poll. People who had a best friend at work were 44% likely to recommend their employer. On the other hand, those who didn’t have a good friend at work were only 21% likely to recommend their employer.

In general, the pandemic showed us just how much people value relationships in the workplace. Before the majority of people had a chance to work from home, they didn’t realize that their friendships were helping them survive and succeed in their careers. But now, it’s becoming clear that having friends at work comes with many benefits.

What Work Friends Can Do for You

Here are a few benefits of having friends at work:

Improve Mood

When you like the people you work with, it’s much easier to be happy in the workplace. You look forward to going in and sharing a story with your coworker, or you don’t dread Mondays quite as much as you used to.

It’s hard to be in a good mood when you work in a miserable place. But even the worst work environment can seem tolerable with good people. Friends have a way of lifting the mood regardless of what else is going on. If your mood is positive, you’re more likely to feel energized and productive.

Of course, friendship doesn’t solve a toxic workplace. It does, however, make a stressful job less stressful.

Improve Productivity and Motivation

People need a reason to succeed. Even if you respect your boss, that’s not often a major motivating factor. What motivates people is working with people they consider friends. Consider this example.

If you’re working on a project with a coworker who is also a friend, you want to impress them and lighten their workload. You have an added incentive to get the job done, and you may enjoy working on the project.

Overall, employers have noticed an increase in workplace productivity when employees have strong relationships. If you’re looking for a way to perform a little better, spend some time focusing on your relationships at work.

Improve Communication

In a hybrid work environment, communication can be a challenge. Fortunately, when you’re friends with your coworkers, it’s easier to communicate. You know how to explain things clearly to them, and you try harder to make sure your communication comes across in a good light.

Better communication means several things for both employers and employees. For one, it makes the work day easier. It also reduces the risk of frustration that comes from miscommunication.

Improve Job Opportunities

Making friends at work gives you access to more career opportunities. Every time you get to know a coworker, you open a door. Whenever you’re ready for a promotion or a new job, your network could help you.

Thanks to your network, you could hear about an opportunity before anyone else applies. Or, you might have a friend put in a good word for you with the boss. In either case, your network could advance your career.

Improve Employee Retention

Employers are having a hard time filling vacancies. So, they’re trying harder than ever to improve employee retention. One of the easiest proven ways to do that is to encourage friendships in the workplace.

Just look at the statistics. According to one poll, 49% of people who didn’t have a best friend at work were actively looking for work. Meanwhile, only 37% of people looking for a new job had a best friend at work. More often than not, people who are looking to leave their current jobs are missing a strong social connection. If employers want their workers to stick around, they need to make efforts to build and maintain friendships.

Tips for Making Friends at Work

If you want to reap the benefits of making friends at work, you need to put in the work. Making friends can be especially challenging when you work in a hybrid environment. Here are a few tips for improving your workplace relationships:

Introduce Yourself

When you first start a job, take the time to learn everyone’s name. Introduce yourself to everyone, from the janitor to the big boss. If you have a hard time remembering names, take notes. Every so often, go out of your way to say hi to your acquaintances.

Get on Video

Email is a perfectly acceptable form of communication. However, it’s not always the best form of communication. Don’t be afraid to set up a video call instead of sending an email. When you participate in a video call, you grow closer to everyone. It’s a reminder that you’re a part of the team, even if you’re not in the office.

Participate in Team Building Activities

If your boss hosts team-building challenges, make sure you participate in them. And if your employer never has these activities, bring it up to them. They may not realize that they’ve neglected team-building. By being the one to suggest this, you could impress them.

Consider Team Chats

If you work from home part or all of the time, join in on a team chat. You don’t always need to keep it work-related. When appropriate, share some details of your personal life in the group chat.

Building relationships with your coworkers can change the trajectory of your career. So, don’t hesitate to get started!

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