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Office Besties: The Importance of Friendships in the Workplace

| Office Life

Mar 5 2015

If you’re one of those people who feels guilty for chatting it up with your cubicle neighbor for a few minutes each day, then stop what you’re doing! So long as you aren’t spending an exuberant amount of time away from your work, there’s no reason to feel bad about taking a break from time to time to form friendships with your co-workers. Take a look at a few of the benefits of having an office bestie or two:

Increased Engagement

Whether you come into work early to beat rush hour or you go shopping on your lunch breaks, all of us do little things in an attempt to achieve a better work-life balance. But what about finding that balance right there in the office? What many employers fail to realize is that the greatest employee engagement stems not from a promotion or paycheck, but from the everyday interactions that go on behind the scenes. People who form strong bonds with their co-workers often report feeling more connected to the company as a whole, many even saying that they would turn down a higher paying position if it meant they would not get along with their co-workers. According to a recent article by Ragan, most employees believe that having friends at work is the most crucial element toward achieving a happy work life, and many adults have even met at least one of their best friends while on the job.

Increased Productivity

Think about it: most of us full-time employees spend more time with our co-workers than with our best friends outside of work, or even our own families. Due to the amount of time spent at the office, the social connections that are made between co-workers are an enormous factor when it comes to the overall health and wellbeing of the individual not only at work, but outside of the office as well. Whether co-workers are venting to one another about their workload or shooting the breeze about what their weekend plans are, casual conversations between office besties help to significantly relieve stress, leading to more productive employees and a more effective business as a whole. Although we may need to spend more time working than we might like, having a comrade to share that time with makes it a little less daunting and a little more fun.

Increased Anniversaries

If more employee engagement leads to more employee productivity, then you can bet that more productivity leads to longer work anniversaries. That’s right, the happier employees are, the longer they will want to continue working for your company. Good co-workers can make our jobs less stressful and more enjoyable, which can make going into the office day after day a lot easier. No matter if your job is high stress or completely boring, office besties can help relieve those negative feelings by giving you breaks from your workload throughout each day. Because employers see the value in keeping long-term employees, there has been an influx of collaboration-sprouting trends, including the increasingly popular open office layout complete with casual meeting spaces and lounge areas. It’s this focus on wellbeing and mental health that keeps employees staying with companies for five, ten or more years.

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