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Four Reasons Why Being Friends with Your Coworkers Works

Is it a good thing when your employees develop personal relationships and want to spend time together outside of the work? We say, "Yes!"

Four Reasons Why Being Friends with Your Coworkers Works

Posted Friday January 13th, 2017 by in Fun + Personal.

Relationships in the workplace, even the platonic kind, have always been a controversial issue. There’s no doubt that when employees get along, both morale and productivity is higher, but there’s a big difference between merely getting along and being friends. And both of those things are totally different than corporate culture camaraderie, whose necessity should go without saying.

So, how do you know when you’ve crossed the line from coworker to friend? I once heard a coworker say, “Once you’ve gotten drunk together, you’ve become friends.” There’s probably some truth to that, but there are other signs as well. Some might be eating lunch together as a group, attending a monthly-ish dinner and a movie night, or having mostly-friendly competition at the go-kart track (not naming any names). It could just be us GEMites, but maybe it shouldn't be.

Is it a good or bad thing when your employees develop personal relationships and want to spend time together outside of the work environment? We think it’s great, especially in a creative agency, and here are four reasons why:

  1. Trust begets creativity. In order to truly express their creative ideas, people need to have a safe environment to do so. In addition, communication must flow freely. This means that a certain level of trust and comfort must exist between coworkers, and studies have shown that personal relationships are positive influencers in this respect.
  2. Friendships enhance teamwork. Collaboration is an essential part of working in any industry, creative or not. When people are friends, they tend to be more invested in seeing their friends be successful, which means that they will do their part to see it happen and offer support, literally and figuratively.
  3. Sh**t happens. Speaking of support, whether it’s in your personal or professional life, things go wrong, and when that happens, it’s nice to be surrounded by people who really care about you. This is especially true because you are with your coworkers, statistically, more than you are with your usual support network of family and outside-of-work-friends.
  4. Having friends at work just makes it more fun. A LinkedIn Relationships @Work study found that “46% of professionals worldwide believe that work friends are important to their overall happiness.” Even employees who don’t necessarily love their jobs recognize how important work friendships are to job satisfaction, because being able to spend time with your friends is enjoyable. Again, we spend, on average, at least 8 hours a day at our jobs, whether at the office or not, so wouldn’t you rather be spending that time with people whose company you enjoy and vice versa? Now if you have friends at work and enjoy your job, like we do at GEM, you’re totally #Winning!

So if you want to text your coworkers during the latest episode of “The Walking Dead” (only if they are watching it too; don’t be that person) or stay late taking Buzzfeed quizzes after hours, go for it. The benefits of establishing real friendships with the people you work with are essential not only to your own happiness, but also to your company’s.


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