If you’re putting in 40 hours at the office every week, you’re likely spending as much time with your co-workers as you do with your family. Those with longer workweeks get even more face time with colleagues.
You spend this much time with the same people – many of whom have similar interests, no doubt – and friendships are bound to form. This is a terrific thing, both for the employees and the company as a whole.
According to reports by the Randstad staffing and recruiting agency and the University of Kentucky, friendly relationships with co-workers can have very positive results (great enough even to outweigh the risks of potential favoritism and a culture that encourages gossip).
Among the greatest benefits: improved morale. Two-thirds of respondents said that having friends at work makes the job more fun and 55 percent indicated that they felt more satisfied in their roles.
Also noteworthy: employees with close friends at work are as much as 40 percent more likely to feel a strong connection with their companies, as they’re likely to feel more supported and engaged. Other advantages include enhanced cohesiveness on the team and increased productivity. All of this translates to dollar signs. Happier workers are less likely to leave and they perform better on the whole.
This is presupposing, of course, that these friendly relationships don’t turn romantic and eventually fall apart!