Posted on Jan 10,2022
All of us might have heard the cliched sentence, “office is not a place to make friends”, considering the infamous term “office politics”. Many of us do like the agenda of not being too friendly with our co-workers as someday or the other we all are stabbed by the so-called work friends. Hence, vouching by not making friends at work is quite valid but is it really a way to carry your professional life? Especially when you need to spend nine hours of your day with the people you are choosing to keep yourself aloof from. The short and simple answer is no. See here you need to understand the degree of involvement as a friend with your co-workers. You don’t need to invite them to your wedding as maid of honour or best men, or you don’t have to plan intimate vacation meals with them yet give them cold shoulder whenever they are trying to communicate something else but work is actually not good in taste.
There is no doubt in the fact that people around you influence your productivity and job satisfaction. Remember how worst if the situation gets under control by just being around friends? Well again, office colleagues can’t take that place most of the time but your cordial bond with them will make things easier for you only.
What do researchers say?
Friends at work keep you productive and happy: As per People Matters GlobalX’s report, friendships at work are said to keep people not just happy and engaged, but also productive and innovative. They are inspired by one another because of the talks and companionship. As per the Happiness in the Workplace Survey conducted by Wildgoose, over three-fifths of those polled (57 per cent) said having a "work best buddy" makes their job more joyful.
Friends at work make you look forward to coming to the office: One of the researches showed that workers prefer a pleasant cultural and social environment at work, nearly as much as high pay, according to one study. When employees work alongside a buddy, 36% say they look forward to getting to work, and 31% say they feel stronger and more appreciated. People who have the best buddy at work are seven times more likely to be totally engaged and productive, according to the study.
How common are workplace friendships?
According to a poll conducted by Olivet Nazarene University in Illinois, over two-thirds of individuals at work are seen as "unknown people" or "workmates." Around 35% make it to the "friends" category, albeit only 15% of these connections last outside of the workplace. Four out of every five people said they work with someone they respect greatly.
According to research from the job-search portal Goodon, 65 per cent of workers have a close bond with at least one coworker. These kinds of interactions have been shown to increase employee happiness and engagement. According to Good Co’s research, 54 per cent of employers feel that good working connections strengthen corporate culture.
Some facts about friendship at the workplace
● Friendships at work, according to 70% of employees, are the most important aspect of a pleasant working life.
● Employees with friends are 1.2x more likely to claim that they get to do what they do best every day.
● 74 per cent of women and 58 per cent of men would turn down a higher-paying job if it meant working with people they didn't like.
● At work, one-third of individuals have met at least one of their closest friends.
● Fifty per cent of employees with a coworker's closest friend said they have a good bond with their employer.
● Employees with a work best friend are 1.4 times more likely to receive praise in the recent week.
● Quality commitment increased by 35% to those with close friends at work.
● In the previous six months, they were 1.3x more likely to get comments on their development.
● +27% more likely to believe that their opinions are valued at work.
What happens to the people who choose to keep themselves isolated?
Alone workers are more likely to experience unpleasant emotions, which can be unproductive and detrimental to their productivity to the team. To reach out to those colleagues who would otherwise feel alienated and detached from the bigger group, and engaging, pleasant workplace is critical. Hence, it’s better to not be so too aloof.
Reasons you need to make work friends
● It is the base of team building
One of the most successful strategies of team building is to form good connections with your colleagues. Professionals who need to work together in a team to achieve organizational goals might benefit from healthy relationships that provide a firm foundation of confidence. Team members that get along, work well together as a unit, and respect one another may build effective support networks that boost engagement, improve cooperation, motivate employees, and generate higher-quality output. As a result, building great connections and credibility with your peers may enable you to be more effective in your career.
● It gives you a sense of belonging
Employees that are lonely, awkward, and out of place may leave their jobs soon after they are employed. Making friends at work, on the other hand, might help us acclimatise to our new work environment by providing us with a sense of belonging. As a result, new recruits' learning curves will be shortened, and our company's turnover will be reduced. Furthermore, working in a warm and helpful workplace can boost employee productivity and happiness.
● You can handle stress better
To achieve success, you must be able to deal with the stress that comes with your work life. At work and at home, stress may have a significant impact on your mental and physical health. Having friends at work, or even just one close colleague, to lean on might help you cope with the more stressful aspects of your job. These employees can provide an avenue for you to vent about your experiences, give empathy in the face of hurdles, and motivate you to overcome the barriers you've faced. This comfort can help you cope with your stress and continue.
● You will be more likely to love your work and stay dedicated
Once we work in a setting that encourages a feeling of community, we cease viewing our job as a list of chores to perform before our shift ends. To see how enthusiastic everyone else is about their profession is infectious, and we grow to care deeper about our own jobs, be more passionate about them, and thrive to do more than our daily responsibilities as a result. That is why having coworkers who are friends is crucial, and it should be a top goal for any company today.
● You will be more productive
Numerous studies have demonstrated that isolating workstations has a negative impact on motivation and performance. Being in secluded cubicles and feeling cut off from your teammates might cause you to feel cut off from the work as well, lowering performance. But on the other side, we feel more driven and productive when we have friends at work with whom we can spend time and communicate.
How to make friends at work?
● Keep up in the good mood
People who can establish a close connection with their counterparts have a sense of togetherness at the office as they can talk about their job accomplishments and private relationships with their peers and find common ground. When you're at work, this can assist increase your morale and improving your attitude.
● Decorate your workspace
In your office, hang photographs, little trinkets, and other decorations that reflect your personality and interests. Family photographs or eye-catching décor, for example, are excellent discussion starters. You could discover that your colleague enjoys skiing, grew up in the same place as you, or has the same favorite flower as you.
● Introduce yourself
Taking initiative is sometimes the greatest way to get to know a coworker. Introduce yourself to new people you meet at work, and don't be hesitant to strike up a conversation.
● Engage in conversation or small talk with co-workers
A small conversation may be difficult at the right moments, but it's more so when you take a new job and are stuck in a cubicle with somebody you do not even know (but want to get to know) and can't seem to get away from. It is, nonetheless, an important aspect of creating effective workplace partnerships.
● Follow them on social media
Consider following your coworkers on social media if it seems acceptable. Although this can work wonderfully in connecting people together, it isn't for everyone, so use your discretion.
● Bring food or coffee
Carry in cappuccino or homemade goodies to share with your coworkers for brunch. End up leaving the snacks in the cafeteria with a message or come them to the workplace and distribute them personally. In either case, your coworkers may wish to express their gratitude to you directly, offering an excellent opportunity to meet new individuals. It may even encourage others to share the burden of bringing breakfast or snacks in the coming times.
● Engage in the office activities
At-work events and out-of-work gatherings are common in companies with a strong corporate culture. These events give the ideal opportunity to meet folks you don't work with every day and get to know them outside of the workplace.
These actions are almost always required if they occur during working hours. Out-of-work engagements, on either hand, aren't required, but they're critical if you really want to develop work connections. Although it is not necessary to attend every meeting, it is preferable to do so on a regular basis.
Overall, there are so many ways to become friends with your co-workers and many reasons to make friends at the workplace. Now, just put off that “I am not here to make friends here” attitude and indulge yourself more in conversations and try to establish bonds at the office.