It’s unlikely that you took the job to make friends, but having pals at work sure is a perk, right? You spend a large part of your day at the office, so working with people you like will power you to get through your shift.
In case you thought that work pals are only good for grabbing a beer with after a long week, here are seven other reasons why office friendships are crucial.
1. You Spend a Lot of Time at Work
Let’s face it – you use most of your daytime hours to work. If you are like many people who have a nine to five job, you will likely see your co-workers more than your family. Therefore, your best shot at being happy is to be happy at work, and getting along with your workmates is a good start. Otherwise, your days might be tough to get through.
Seeing friendly faces will make your life enjoyable, even when you are isolated in a cubicle.
2. You Will Have Higher Productivity Levels
A study by Global Work Connectivity established that 60% of workers would be more inclined to stick with their employer if they had friends at work.  Those who don’t feel engaged in their current positions end up looking for other job openings. Such dissatisfaction levels would hurt productivity levels.
When you feel isolated or unhappy because of a lack of genuine connections with others, your energy levels might drop.
3. Your Job Will Be Enjoyable
Anyone with a lousy job that makes them dread waking up in the morning understands how challenging this can be. You will be happier working if you look forward to sharing your weekend escapades with a friend at work. It gets better when you work in different departments or on other projects because you have a lot to share and discuss.
4. You Will Be More Innovative
While it might seem cliché, two heads are always better than one. Having good pals at work to share your ideas with helps you become creative. Genuine friends will champion you and encourage your innovative ideas and creativity. They will give you the outside perspective and confidence you need to push for what you believe in. 
5. You Will Have a Sense of Belonging
No one likes feeling lonely. Having a pal or some friendly faces will make you feel like you belong at work. You will be open to sharing your successes and problems, which will give you an avenue to release your emotions.
Apart from being a huge benefit to individual employees, it is also a bonus for the organization. A network of employees will make them feel nurtured, which translates positively for the company’s profits.
6. You Will Have Good Communication Skills
Talking with friends may not be the same as talking to your superior, but every form of communication matters. Having friendly conversations at the workplace opens you up for more communication. So, when you need to face your boss, you will know how to do it.
Friendly talks also help reduce stress and keep you relaxed. Eventually, you are unlikely to act irrationally or jump the gun.
7. You Will Have a Support System
You might already have a healthy support system at home, but do you want to spend your time off the clock discussing work matters? Irrespective of how supportive your loved ones are, they are unlikely to understand your job’s dynamics.
Having a friend who goes through similar experiences helps you get through such talks because you don’t spend a lot of time explaining a story’s background. They already know what is happening, so they have valuable suggestions to help you achieve your goals and solve the issues. 
Tips for Building Workplace Friendships
Offer to help
Is a co-worker struggling to complete a task? Are they up against a tight deadline? Notice people around you, what they are coping with, and offer to help where you can. Caring about people helps to build strong relations.
Don’t eat lunch alone
This is pretty easy to implement. Whether you have been there for ten years or it’s your first day, don’t shy away from asking your colleague to lunch. It’s a natural way of making connections and learning people on a personal level within a professional setting. 
Take the time to volunteer when opportunities come up—putting yourself out there in social situations at work breeds personal interactions with your colleagues. At first, you might feel a bit out of your comfort zone, but the benefits are worthwhile.
Your job is more than a list of tasks when you work with friends. You will care about the people you work with, the community, and the company. Creating meaningful work friendships also enhances your productivity and makes you happier at work.
- Virgin Pulse. “STUDY RESULTS: Dependence on Technology Leaves Your People Feeling Isolated, Disengaged and Less Committed.” February 12th, 2021. https://www.virginpulse.com/blog-post/study-results-dependence-on-technology-leaves-your-people-feeling-isolated-disengaged-and-less-committed/.
- Medium. “The Case for Making Friends at Work.” February 12th, 2021. https://medium.com/newtheory/the-case-for-making-friends-at-work-8c42d9f9491c.
- Business News daily. “Why It’s Good to Have a BFF at Work.” February 12th, 2021. https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/6759-friends-at-work.html.
- CNN “Workplace happiness: What’s the secret?” February 12th, 2021. https://edition.cnn.com/2012/07/09/living/secret-to-workplace-happiness/index.html.