Is a work friend also one of your best friends? Then give each other a high-five on June 8, which happens to be National Best Friend Day.
Having a BFF at work can make all the difference when it comes to thriving at your job. Here’s just one example: Women who strongly agree that they have a best friend at work are more than twice as likely to be engaged with their job (63 percent) than women who do not have a best friend at work (29 percent), according to Gallup.
Overall, teams with work friends perform much better than teams where people who don’t know each well, researchers reported in an analysis of 1,016 groups obtained from 26 studies, and published last year in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
Having a work friend certainly makes a job more enjoyable — but it’s so much more. Here are three ways that a close work friend can set you up for success:
1. We want to belong
Humans are, by nature, social animals, as the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle observed about 2,400 years ago. Scientists today agree. We aren’t meant to be lone wolves. We’re supposed to be running with the pack, and perhaps someday leading it.
Having a deep sense of connection with your coworkers can spur you to go above and beyond when it comes to improving the business. We simply don’t want to let our BFFs down.
Simply put, we perform better at work when we’re happy, and social well-being is a driving force. Work friends can help us blow off steam, lighten the mood and make things fun.
A best friend at work can relieve your stress and recharge your batteries.
3. Work-life balance? What work-life balance?
"The notion of work-life balance is changing fairly dramatically," O.C. Tanner VP Gary Beckstrand told Inc. "Younger generations don't compartmentalize as much as older ones. For many millennials, work and their outside life are blurred. They're thinking about work more often, talking about it more often, and those friendships they form at work extend to outside the job as well."
Perhaps millennials have hit on a truth: If we spend 40 hours of our week or more at a place, it better mean something. Work is more than just a place where we go to earn a paycheck. Work friends can help us get there.
About the Author
Kelly Spors is a freelance writer and editor based in Minneapolis. She previously worked as a staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal, covering small business and entrepreneurship.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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