An American Time Use survey revealed that people between the ages of 25 and 54 spend more time in the workplace than they do sleeping. Americans don’t get much time off, and that means you are going to be surrounded by your colleagues for most of your working life.
You need friends in the workplace in order to stay sane, make your work a more productive place, and to enhance your career. These are some of the key reasons why building strong relationships should be part of your day.
Mental health has become a big issue in recent years. People are starting to realize that how happy someone is could influence how long they live for. Studies have shown that being lonely and feeling socially isolated can compromise your life expectancy.
With good friendships, you can increase your longevity. Friendships at work tend to last even after you retire or move to another job, so this is something you are building for the long-term.
Best for Business
There are many reasons why an office full of friends is likely to be what’s best for business. This is not just something an employer can benefit from. For a start, employees are likely to feel more satisfied. And they are less likely to go to another company. These are some of the reasons why friendships at work are best for business:
- It helps for people to identify with the company’s mission. They feel like they are more part of the process.
- People are more likely to give it their all. They don’t want to let their friends down by putting only half of their effort in.
- A solid team is more likely to innovate because people are going to be more confident about putting their opinions forward.
Employee retention is a big issue and it’s difficult to create a solid team. A company is only as good as the people running it on a day-to-day basis. If this team can’t stand the sight of each other, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that this company isn’t going to last long.
Changing the Perceptions of Work
Office politics is something that all business leaders want to stamp out. This is not because they suddenly care about people’s feelings. They took notice because it started to impact their business. Go back to the Baby Boomer generation and workplace politics was seen as healthy competition. It was believed that it drove people on to achieve bigger and better things.
This is not the case at all.
Good friendships can change someone’s perception of the workplace. Someone who hates the people they are surrounded by is going to be concentrating on the people. They are thinking about how they are going to be slighted this week.
On the other hand, good friendships make all this fade into the background. It changes your perception and you see your place of work as a positive place to be.
Management Will View You Better
Of course, you want to advance your career because you are ambitious and you want to go on to achieve something. Management will view you in a more positive light for a number of reasons, and this is going to make you a prime candidate for promotion.
For a start, a good mixer is seen as someone who can bring people together. Managers want their leads to unite people. They will never promote a divisive figure no matter how good at their job they are. Doing so could destroy the harmony of the office.
Furthermore, if you can work with everybody without conflict you are going to achieve more. Your performance is limited unless you can work together. Simply by connecting with others you will be performing at a higher level, and this is going to get management to notice you.
How Do You Go About Making Friends?
Good friendships at work aren’t built overnight. It takes time and effort. Be trustworthy and do people favors when they need it. This doesn’t mean that you have to become a welcome mat for anyone who wants something from you. Helping out when needed will create those bonds.
Whenever someone new joins the office, make an effort to reach out to them. Invite them to join you on their coffee break and integrate them into the group. These simple actions are critical in making your office a better place to be on a daily basis.
How will you go about making friends in the workplace?