5 Research-Backed Reasons Why You Need Work Friends (And How to Go About It)

Posted on 20th May, 2019 by Bonnie

Finding work friends to chat with can boost your happiness, health and productivity – and have a big impact on your work and personal life. With a few tips on how to make the right approach, forming those new relationships can be pleasant and easy.

Whether your job is your life or just something you do to pay the rent, making space for some socializing at work can help you have a more fulfilling experience. Professionals who have friendly connections at work are 50% more likely to report job satisfaction, and are seven times more likely to enjoy a stronger connection to what they do.

So, despite what your teachers told you at school, chatting with colleagues, makes you more productive!

The best way to build friendships at work will depend on your personality and on your workplace culture. Having lunch away from your desk is an excellent way to demonstrate that you’re open for a chat or even to grab a bite with someone. Try to ask open questions, and to remain open and supportive if somebody else wants to join in. This can create a great vibe and encourage new people to say ‘Hi’ to you.

Connecting with colleagues online is another great way to show interest. Everybody shows a different side of themselves on social media. And interacting with a colleague after work on Instagram or Twitter can give you a common bond to build on when you get back to the office.

We noticed that workplace friendships seem to be undervalued these days – so we’ve created a new visual guide to making friends at work. It looks at how best to send those friendly smoke signals, and how to avoid seeming intrusive or needy.

Work friends can make all the difference in a new environment, on a tough day and throughout your career. Follow our tips to begin cultivating a better way to work.

1. Gallup. (2018). State of the American Workplace. gallup.com
2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5013792/
3. Productivity Through Coffee Breaks: Changing Social Networks by Changing Break Structure.
4. Rath, T. Harter, J. (2010). Your Friends and Your Social Well-Being. gallup.com
5. O.C Tanner. (2015).The Impact of Excellent Employee Wellbeing. octanner.com
6. Wolff, C. (2017). 11 Of The Best Ways To Make Friends, According To Science. bustle.com
7. Liu, C. (2019). 12 Different Ways to Make Friends at Work (Even if They’re Just “Work Friends”). themuse.com
8. Augustine, A. (2019). Feeling Lonely? 4 Ways to Make Friends at the Office. themuse.com
9. Boitnott, J. (2015). 10 Ways Even Introverts Can Make Friends at Work. entrepreneur.com

About Bonnie

Bonnie is a Chicago transplant who's committed to seeing the world on a dime. As an avid news junkie with an affinity for finance, she loves to help others do more with less.