Making friends is something that we’ve all been trained to do ever since childhood. In kindergarten, our parents often ask us to be good and to make friends with the other children in the playground. This is probably one of the most important things that you need to learn if you want to succeed in life.
You wouldn’t feel comfortable borrowing a pen or paper from the person next to you if you aren’t friends with that person in the first place. You can’t ask for a raise if you aren’t on friendly terms with your boss. And you can’t get married if you can’t even find a partner.
To survive the jungle that is life, you need companionship, you need other people. They say that no man is an island – this is a very accurate statement.
But why make friends at work?
You might ask yourself, “Is it necessary for me to make friends in the workplace?” You might even think to yourself that you already have enough friends outside of your career, so why would you need more?
To be honest, you didn’t sign up for that job offer to build connections with your coworkers. But being in friendly terms with your coworkers brings you a lot of perks. Studies have shown that working with people you like will help you gain power throughout the day. Studies also show that these people will help increase your productivity as well. Sweet deal, right?
If you’re one of the people who say that friends at work are one of the most important factors to having a happy working life, then you’re not alone. 70% of employees say that this is true for them as well. This makes making friends a lot easier. With like-minded individuals, you’ll be sure to spot someone who you’ll instantly connect within no time. Some people go even as far as saying that they would refuse a higher paying job if it means not getting along with their colleagues.
But I don’t think I need friends at work!
Still not convinced huh? Well…
Data shows that one out of every three adults meets at least one of their closest friends at work. Having good company while working makes you feel happy and a lot more productive.
Eating alone is deemed to be a sad practice. Did you know that there is a 25% increase in morale and productivity when you’re given a larger lunch table to eat with your colleagues? After all, food does put you in a good mood. Use this advantage to your advantage and build positive relationships with the people you’ll be working with.
Having a best friend at work also improves the probability of staying in that company for a very long time. After all you’ll have someone you can trust to watch your back.
But there’s more!
The benefits don’t just end there. People who have a best friend at work are more likely to receive praises and they have a higher chance of being promoted as well. They also have a higher commitment to quality.
Because of this, they start developing a higher sense of consideration for constructive criticism, making them work harder to be the best that they can be. These are actually things that can help make your career grow.
Having friends at work can also help you lead other people
Managers should start actively participating and encouraging the building of office relationships to ensure that happiness levels at the office are kept at the optimum level. Activities such as team buildings and office small talk prove to be useful in strengthening friendships between team members. Supervisors can also join in on the talk, to help ease the tension in the office and to establish that they aren’t just there as a body to reprimand them when they make mistakes. Establishing that even supervisors can be human can help build trust between the team and its managers.
Even a few minutes of chitchat over coffee during breaks will help you foster better relationships. This will lead you to have the drive of improving your performance, and improving your career.
Yes, even non-work related banter is considered to be a big help. If you have problems striking up a conversation with other people, try thinking of things that you both mutually know, you can try talking about food or the current events.
You could even try giving your coworker a compliment or two. Do not think too much about what you’re going to say and just let words flow naturally.
Don’t give up!
Friendship is a two-way road. If the person you’re talking to doesn’t seem interested in your friendship. Then don’t worry. They might just be having a bad day, or they might not have gotten enough sleep the day before. Try again another day, or with another person. If they still don’t feel like being friends with you, then it’s okay. It’s their loss. You still have the rest of the company anyway!
Finding yourself in a good mood will greatly affect how you go on about doing your daily tasks. Even the most difficult tasks seem a bit lighter when a good company joins you. Productivity is always seen as a good thing in the office. The more work is done, the happier your bosses will be.
Don’t Worry, Be Happy!
A happier “you” can make people around you happier as well. Muse writer Kaitlyn Russell goes on to explain that the friendlier you are with the people you see every day, the happier you’ll be. Remember that happiness is actually something that can infect the people you work with. You end up more open-minded about challenges that your boss presents to you, and you get to collaborate even better with your workmates.
Just be happy!
Workdays can be long and exhausting. Deadlines here, deadlines there, deadlines everywhere! But, don’t let that get you down. If you made friends with your coworkers, then there will always be people that you can rely on.
Your friends will help you get back on your feet when you feel like a failure. Don’t be afraid to summon the 4-year-old in you and make friends with people. If you can’t do that, then you’ll most likely end up alone and without allies. If you want success, then you need connections. Period.