Many of us keep our work and personal lives separate; we might have acquaintances at work, but we probably don’t have close friendships. However, at least one psychologist says that having a close friendship at work can make us more productive.
Picture: mihai’s place/Shutterstock
New York Magazine's Science of Us cites Donald Clifton, founder of Gallup and a former educational psychologist, for the reasons:
It's one of the strongest predictors of productivity. Studies show that employees with a best friend at work tend to be more focused, more passionate, and more loyal to their organisations. They get sick less often, suffer fewer accidents, and change jobs less frequently. They even have more satisfied customers.
Work friendships also hold us more accountable to our work:
Research suggests that workplace friendships yield more productive employees, and it's not just because friends are easier to work with. It's also because there is more on the line. Feeling a connection with colleagues can motivate employees to work harder for a simple reason. When colleagues are close, a poor effort means more than a dissatisfied customer or an unhappy manager. It means letting down your friends. The social pressure to do a good job can often serve as a stronger motivator than anything a boss can say.
So, let's hear it. Do you have one or more close friendships at work? Or is it time to start making workplace friends? (The article below offers some suggestions for doing so, including sharing your problems.)
You Need a Work Best Friend [New York Magazine]