People who have regular jobs spend the majority of their days at work. A recent study conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics has found that we spend over 8 hours doing work and work-related activities on any given weekday, nearly equaling the time spent on personal care, which also includes sleep! This means that we generally see our colleagues more than our spouses, children and friends.
Taking into consideration the fact that we spend the bulk of our adulthood at the workplace, it might not hurt to make a few friends there. We are well aware of the fact that many people carry out their jobs primarily for professional growth and career advancement purposes, and making friends might not be high on their priority list. But consider the fact that having a few buddies at the office not only increases overall happiness, it also improves work engagement. Check out a handful of other reasons that support the fact that it’s important to make friends at work:
A better overall atmosphere
No matter how productive you’d like to be at work, loneliness does not help the creative process. Completely isolating yourself from others will only decrease your motivation to work and will leave you feeling like you don’t really belong there. By reaching out to a few colleagues and forming a bond with them, you’ll increase your emotional well-being. We’re humans, after all, and we are basically coded with an innate need to socialize.
If you have a few buddies on your side, you’ll likely feel less stressed and much more excited about coming to work than if you had nobody to interact with all day. As a matter of fact, if people get along with each other at work, it contributes to a better office vibe, which translates into a better overall work flow for the entire department.
Sense of belonging
By having a few friends at work, you will definitely feel that you’re part of the team, that you have your own squad, and that you truly belong there. These strong bonds make for more effective teams, since colleagues know and trust each other and are much less likely to make errors when put under pressure. This sense of belonging further increases motivation and contributes to better communication skills.
With the help of a few friendly relationships, you’ll likely care even more about your work and the community you’re building with your like-minded colleagues, so you’ll be even more attentive and strive to do your best work in order to truly contribute to the team’s efforts.
A reliable support system
We are all human, and every once in a while we make mistakes. If you happen to find yourself in hot water one day, having someone to stand up for you and vouch for you is of paramount importance. But having a reliable support system could come in handy in any given situation.
Your friends at work can help you make it through the day when you’re tackling personal problems at home and they can give you that extra push to help you complete your tasks. Your colleagues might also help with any work-related issues you might be tackling and maybe also give you a hand in projects you might be struggling with.
All these factors contribute to job satisfaction, which is an extremely important and often overlooked aspect of life. If you’re satisfied with your work and get to do it in a friendly, welcoming community with driven and motivated people, you’ll be likely to form a sort of loyalty to the company. If the atmosphere is pleasant, you have friends at the office and you love your job, you are much more likely to be more efficient, productive and a better employee.
All in all, we don’t really recommend forming superficial bonds with everyone just for the sake of getting people to like you. Instead, try to find common ground with a handful of people and form meaningful bonds with them for a better workflow, an increased sense of motivation and overall happiness.