The Value Of Friends At Work: Support When You Need It Most by Cindy Stradling CSL, CPC
Having friends at work that have your back, support you when you need it most, and understand the specific issues and challenges of the job are some of the best ways to boost professional satisfaction.
Socializing and getting to know people at work on a personal level is one of the keys to feeling connected to the organization or company. While there are potential challenges in befriending colleagues, most people find that spending time with people at work offers far more benefits than any potential downsides.
Increased Collaborative Efforts
One of the challenges with today’s hybrid or remote work models, or even those team members that are 100% at work, is the lack of feeling connected with others on the team, department, or company.
Finding out about people and who they are outside of work creates a more welcoming and collaborative work environment. It is also a way for individuals in the group to feel comfortable making suggestions and volunteering to do tasks and activities that align with their natural talents and areas of specialized knowledge or skills.
Friendships also help facilitate people working together on projects. This not only increases efficiency but also makes the project more engaging, creative, and innovative. At the same time, group members feel valued, recognized, and you also have this same positive collaborative experience.
Positive Workplace Culture
When friendships occur across different departments, teams, and throughout the company, everyone feels more connected and a part of the complete workplace culture. Often these types of friendships are sparked during conferences, trainings, and team events planned through professional development days.
Having friends in the company or business also makes it easier to address problems before they become mountains. Speaking with friends who are trusted colleagues when making decisions or planning helps you have information and options specific to your workplace.
Empathy and Support
Having a friend at work also allows you to receive empathy from someone who understands the specific issues around the problem you are facing. This is difficult for someone who is not in your professional field or who does not understand other parties involved. At the same time, they are also there to cheer you on when you reach a milestone or have a positive experience.
Workplace friends often spend time together outside of work, but this is not always the case. The wonderful thing about friendship is that you can define the boundaries and create the space that works for you both.