The Importance Of Workplace Friendships
The right job entails more than just the ideal job description. Of course the actual work that you do can have an impact on your overall engagement level or job satisfaction, but the environment you work in, the people you are surrounded by, and the relationships you form with them can also greatly affect different factors related to your professional and personal life. For example, aside from the obvious networking or career advancement opportunities, forming friendships at work can have a greater effect on other aspects of your life you may have not realized. From a better work ethic to improved overall happiness, here are four reasons workplace friendships matter:
Increased employee engagement
Genuinely enjoying the work that you do, feeling appreciated by a team, and being able to see value in the work that you create can all increase your likelihood of being an engaged employee. However, the people you surround yourself with can matter just as much, if not more. According to Gallup, research shows employees with a friend in the office are seven times as likely to be engaged compared to employees without a friend.
Simply put, employee engagement isn’t just a term your employer uses to measure employee’s satisfaction with work. Instead, it is a well-thought-out business strategy that can affect your own productivity, motivation, and the success that you have in your career. As an engaged employee, you are more likely to want to work, think of innovative ways to do that work, and truly make a difference. Therefore, by forming friendships at work and increasing your engagement, you’re also increasing your own opportunities for professional development, networking opportunities, and more.
A valued support system
It’s unlikely that you’ll make a lifelong friend in every position you work, and that’s okay. Sometimes having someone you can count on for the time being is just as important. Whether it’s celebrating your accomplishments or confiding in someone about your struggles and failures, workplace friendships can make all the difference when it comes to the highs and lows of your career. Support systems at work are proven to increase authenticity and trust throughout the workplace -- two key factors in improving your overall view on work.
Organizations run better when you’re comfortable reaching out to your coworkers and adapting to new methods of communication. Take the COVID-19 pandemic as a real-world example. Through the shared experience of uncertainty and loss or remote work and the struggles that came along with it, it became clear just how important support systems at work can be.
Improved physical and mental health
A person’s physical health can undoubtedly affect their mental health and vice versa. With that being said, forming friendships in the office isn’t just about improving your work ethic. Research shows having a friend in the office can also have a positive impact on a person’s physical and mental health. In the same Gallup study that reported the correlation between workplace friendships and engagement, it’s also stated that positive friendships are proven to decrease stress levels, decrease a person’s chance of catching common illnesses, and even promote a healthy cardiovascular system -- all of which are negatively impacted by employee burn-out.
Higher happiness levels
If workplace friendships are linked to increased employee engagement and improved health, it makes sense that research also supports the link between workplace friendships, higher levels of happiness, and an overall positive view on life. When you’re truly happy at work, it doesn’t just mean you do your work with a smile on your face. It means you have a sense of belonging and appreciation for the work that you do and this happiness has the ability to affect others around you. In addition, if you’re not happy at work, chances are, this unhappiness will follow you into your everyday life -- especially considering the amount of time you spend at work every day. With this possibility and so much more on the line, it only further solidifies the importance of workplace friendships.
Finding a new job with the right responsibilities and the right people can be hard. Let Nexus help you find just what you’re looking for every step of the way! View our available jobs or contact our team today to get started on a personalized recruitment experience.
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