Since we spend the largest portions of our daily lives working, we are bound to make some friends at the workplace. We all understand how important these friends are in making our lives easier at work. They make coming to work on the first working week so much more tolerable, and also reduce the stress of having to spend 8 long hours at the office each day. They provide for someone to whom we can safely complain about our ‘horrible’ bosses, and also offer support and compassion when anything goes wrong. They also bring fun, humor and warmth into the mix. Work friends are hence, very important in determining our personal happiness at a job.
However, having friends at work is not simply a means to your personal happiness, but is also vital for having a successful career. Following are just a few ways how your work friends can help you in your career:
More productivity: Although it was earlier believed that work friends were distractive to each other and thus reduced productivity; recent Gallup analytics prove it to be otherwise. These analysis shows that people are more productive when they experience positive emotions as positivity generates more motivation towards work. You might yourself have noticed that you are able to work better when you are in a good mood, and work friends are often a great source for generating such positive vibes within you.
Enhancement of skills and knowledge: Having good friends at the workplace often allows for an exchange of skills and knowledge. This is particularly so when you have friends working in other departments of the organization. You will often be talking about work related subjects within your friend circles, and such conversations can help in expanding your knowledge on diverse subjects that ultimately assist you in forwarding your career. Also, friends often teach and help each other in learning and improving hard and soft skills which further helps your career. Thus, having no friends in the workplace restricts you from potentially improving yourself.
Assistance at work: No matter how skilled you are at your craft; nobody can deliver a 100 percent at all times. There will always be times when you find yourself ‘stuck in the mud’ when faced with certain challenging tasks and problems. In such cases, your work friends can be that saving grace by providing you with advice, solutions and ideas that help you in solving the problem or completing the task.
Helps in office politics: Whether you like it or not, office politics are a fact of life. Every organization is political to some extent and this is simply because employees (due to their human nature), cannot help but bring their personal emotions, needs, wants and insecurities to their professional lives. It’s a great and commendable thing if you decide not to take part in such office politics, but in the course of your career, you might still have to protect yourself from it. During such times it always helps to have friends at work that look out for you and have your back. At times you could find yourself not being given the recognition and/or reward that you deserve; and good workplace friends can be of great help then.
The above mentioned points are some pretty compelling reasons why you might want to get closer to your colleagues. If you have problems in befriending your co-workers, here are a few tips on how to make friends at work.