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Crossing the line: Why having work friends can be a good thing - Blog

Crossing the line: Why having work friends can be a good thing

Whilst some people are of the opinion that they “didn’t come here to make friends”, others wonder how’d they get through each work day without their group of work buddies. When working very closely with people on a daily basis it’s only natural for special bonds to form and for the lines to blur between co-worker and friend. 

Whilst some people are of the opinion that they “didn’t come here to make friends”, others wonder how’d they get through each work day without their group of work buddies. When working very closely with people on a daily basis it’s only natural for special bonds to form and for the lines to blur between co-worker and friend. Very often this evolution happens without people even trying, and although some feel like there should be a clear distinction between friends and colleagues, there are also many pros to having work friends. Read on and discover what some of these are.

You share a common understanding

Because some of your colleagues work with you on certain projects and tasks, they experience some of the same stresses and pressures you do. As a result, you  all have a common understanding of and insight into what the other person is going through and therefore you’re able to be there for one another unlike anyone else can. Your experience tends to bring you closer and you can end up counting on each other for moral support and encouragement – especially when times get tough. Lastly, because your work friend has first-hand knowledge of what it’s like to work in the same company as you, they can empathise and provide the  kind of support that often family members are unable to.

You keep your eyes on the prize together

When a work relationship develops into a friendship it’s very often preceded by a level of trust that has been established. It’s because of this that you trust each other to be honest and to point out when the other seems to be veering off course. Sometimes a reality check is needed and when it comes to work, you can almost always rely on your work mate to provide just that. You can hold each other accountable when necessary, but also cheer each other on and help to remind one another to keep your eyes on the prize. It’s very often your work friends who help keep you on track.

You perform at your best

Numerous studies have shown that there are lower staff turnovers in businesses in which there is a strong sense of camaraderie. This is most likely as a result of the fact that many people feel more compelled to stay in a job where they feel supported by their colleagues and “part of something”. When people feel happy and a sense of belonging, they are more committed and disciplined when it comes to work. A shared purpose, mutual respect and a feeling of being “in it together” definitely helps to boost productivity levels. Ultimately, having work friends can very often lead to longer-lasting and more fulfilling work experiences.

You have each other’s backs

We all go through difficult times in our lives and sometimes personal issues can have an impact on our work. Our work friends are like soldiers who fight alongside you, with both of you doing what you can to defend the other. They cover for you when you need them to and you can always rely on them to lift your spirits when you’re feeling low. Basically, you fight in each other’s corners, something that helps keep you motivated and focused. Sometimes this may mean they end up being brutally honest with you, but as long as it’s constructive, it’s well worth it.

Overall, forming work friendships can be a positive thing, helping to make your work experience more enjoyable, manageable and worthwhile. A strong sense of camaraderie aids company loyalty and satisfaction, two of the ingredients that are vital if a business is to be successful. As long as your work friendships are genuine and based on trust, as well as both parties being on the same page, you’re likely to enjoy lasting friendships that go above and beyond the office.

On the flipside: Yes, work friendships can be beneficial and wonderful, but there are some people who look to use friendship to get ahead. Be selective about who you choose to befriend and only share personal information with those you trust. Also remember that some people don’t wish to form work friendships – recognise this and respect their choice.

 

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