Did you take the job to make friends? No, probably not. That would be quite low on the list of good reasons to accept an offer.
But having them sure is a perk, isn’t it?
Working with people you like can literally help power you through the day.
And in case you think this is an exaggeration and that work pals are just good for grabbing a beer with at the end of a long week, take this statement about the crucial nature of work friends from the infographic below: “Office friendships have a direct link with engagement and productivity.”
The infographic is, in fact, full of insightful nuggets, but as someone who values your work friends, you probably won’t be too surprised at the findings.
Those seemingly pointless conversations you have with co-workers while waiting for the coffee to finish brewing or on your way to a meeting? They’re not nothing. In fact, the data shows that having friends at the office can actually help your career.
A few minutes of non-work related banter can be viewed as a distracting force, or it can be seen as an engagement-enhancing break. So, it’s not just your social life that stands to benefit from these relationships but your professional life, too.
Think about it: When you’re in good spirits, you’re likely to find it easier to complete your to-do list—from the tedious, mundane tasks to the ones that require more creative energy.
You don’t have to have a best friend—though if you’re lucky enough to have a work BFF, well then, you may be one of the 50% of people who say that it’s resulted in having a strong connection with the company.
But just having any friends means you’re likely to be happier at work, and if you’re happy, you’re engaged, and when you’re engaged, you produce better work. You open yourself up to challenges. And maybe you even propose new and exciting ideas to your boss, bolstered by your co-workers’ praise and encouragement.
The fact is, the workday can be long and exhausting, so it really helps if you’re surrounded by people who you actually enjoy. What’s more: “The more friendly you are with the people you see every day, the happier you’ll be,” explains Muse writer Kaitlyn Russell.
So, the next time you catch yourself not doing your work and instead chatting with a colleague, go ahead and pat yourself on the back for cultivating those work relationships. It means you’re going places.