Why having friends at work is important

Written by: Jeff Fermin
Published on September 16, 2014 | Reading time: 6m

I can honestly say that I’m one of those people that have to be around people they like in order to work better. Working amongst people that I would genuinely love to be around makes my job a thousand times easier.

I think there’s a humongous benefit from having friends at work. It can alleviate some of the stress that comes from working a lot of hours and makes those high pressure situations easier to deal with.

We found some incredible statistics that prove that having a good group of friends at work is not only a nice-to-have, but it can make everyone work better. Here they are:

11 Incredible Reasons Why Having Friends At Work Is Important (INFOGRAPHIC)

1. Creates A Better “Work-Life”

70% of employees say friends at work is the most crucial element to a happy working life.

We have done a lot of talking about work-life balance in the past and it’s all for a good reason. When you’re able to balance both work and life it can reduce stress greatly.

When you have friends at work, blending work and life becomes easy. It’s almost like (metaphorically) going into battle every day and afterwards still having people you can talk to about issues that aren’t necessarily work-related.

That extra layer of comfort makes the work feel a lot easier.

2. Employee Retention Is Better Because Of Friends

58% of men would refuse a higher paying job if it meant not getting along with coworkers. 74% of women said the same.

You wouldn’t disband from a group of friends that you’d like, right?

Unless you’re Lebron James (I’m from Miami, I’ve been holding that one in) you wouldn’t take a higher paying job if it meant not getting along with coworkers. The majority of men and women surveyed agree that they value having a good group of people around them over a higher paying job.

I guess you can say that building good relationships and having a good company culture is better for employee retention. So make sure that you’re doing your best to hire people that are a great cultural fit.

3. Increases Employee Morale

+25% increase in employee morale and productivity for simple things like larger lunch tables.

You work better when you’re amongst friends. Your morale tends to go up and you’re also able to be more productive at work.

Why do you think this is the case? I think the mere fact that you can create an on/off trigger between work and play within the office allows you to be more productive.

For instance, my cofounder Dan and I would work hard every day and make sure to take a quick break in the middle of the day to just “bro” out. We’d play ping pong, a video game, or just catch up. It alleviated the mental wear and tear of having your head facing a computer all day. To know your coworkers better, you can also break the ice with some office games.

4. Better Friends = Better Company Culture

50% of employees with a best friend at work reported that they feel a strong connection with their company.

As I alluded to earlier, the more friends you make at work, the better the culture the office would be.

So all of those relationships that you’re making within your office are not only making your life better, but they’re indirectly making your company culture better as well.

5. Best Friends Are Made At Work

1 out of 3 adults has met at least one of their closest friends at work.

Us workaholics have made friends with the people within our office. I can easily say that all the people within my team are all close and we have a pretty tight bond here.

There was a short span of time where I thought that my last batch of friends were made in college, but that’s not the case at all. Making friends at work is great, because you have to truly get to know each other and it makes it easier to solve problems and complete work.

6. More Praise Amongst Colleagues

1.4x more likely to receive praise in the last seven days.

The more friend you have within your office, the more praise you’ll receive.

This does wonders for employee recognition within the office. As instead of it coming from management, it comes organically from the people around you. Of course, you should never rule out recognition from management, as it carries a bit more weight. The recognition amongst colleagues still serves a valuable purpose.

7. Havings Friends At Work Is Better For Personal Development

Benefit from 137% more personal development support.

Having friends at work helps you develop more as a person and a professional. This is mostly because you have people that motivate you (or at least make you feel comfortable) helping you out on a daily basis.

So keep those friends at work close, as they’ll help you develop as a person and make you a better employee.

8. Better Quality Of Work

+35% higher commitment to quality.

That’s right, working with your friends also increases the actual quality of your work.

I’m going to assume that it is mostly because you have your peers reviewing or overlooking your work that you want to show them that you can perform well. The last thing you would want is to be considered the slouch of the group. Having friends at work will definitely have you on your toes and it’ll allow you to work better.

9. More Likely To Receive Feedback

1.3x more likely to receive feedback about their progress in the last six months.

At least over here, we keep the feedback going. If we believe something can be done better we do our best to fix and test it.

Here, we use employee feedback to keep things going. I think it’s vital to have feedback amongst peers in order to excel and create more. We found that with constant feedback we are more motivated and innovative then when we keep quiet and just “work”.

10. Gain More Respect From Peers

+27% higher perceived consideration of their opinions at work.

Being that you are amongst friends you tend to have the respect of your friends when you work for them. Unless you’re in the same fantasy football league as them, then thing might get ugly.

Yes, when you work with people that you love, you give and receive respect. It’s almost like instead of asking for tasks to be completed, you’re asking a friend for a favor. So keep the workplace functioning like a group of friends working together on a project.

11. More Likely To Have Fun At Work

1.2X more likely to say that they have the opportunity to do what they do best every day.

Quite simple, when you work with friends, you have more fun at work. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Let’s be honest, a lot of jobs are tedious and stressful, but if you’re amongst good friends it’s easier to handle.

Why spend your time working in a place that you’re not having fun in? Or with people that you don’t really like? Start making friends in your workplace and create a good fun atmosphere that makes it easier for everybody to work.

Do You Think It’s Important To Have Friends At Work?

So what do you think about having friends at work? Do you think it’s good for your company culture? Let us know your thoughts on twitter @Officevibe.