Best Friends — Best Friends 4 Ever — My Ride or Die — #Besties
You may think that you’re reading the taglines on junior high jewelry, but fear not — we’re actually talking about your workplace relationships. Before you roll your eyes and move on, hear me out. Having a business #bestie is a BIG DEAL and something that every professional (no matter what stage of the career journey your in) should really consider.
Growing up, most of us have been encouraged by our parental figures to “make friends” or “play nice in the sandbox.” We took that advice to heart and quickly forged relationships over lunchtime chatter and games of imagination on the playground. Fast forward to the college years where you’re once again told (this time with a hint of nostalgia) “make friends – these will be your friends for life.” And yet again you dive into new relationships — bonding over late-night snacks at the student hub and inside jokes formed from having one too many cranberry vodkas.
Why then does this sound advice seem to quickly vanish the moment we dawn our graduation caps and enter the professional workforce?
We’ve seen that one of the most predominate reasons office relationships are encouraged to be mostly transactional, stem from the negative perceptions formed on the affects office friendships will have on the work environment. Some of these include:
- Lack of productivity
- Less Focused
While each of these factors COULD happen in the workplace (whether you are or aren’t friends with your co-workers), research shows that friendships at work actually create the exact OPPOSITE results. In Gallup’s Q12 Research, results showed that:
“Employees with a best friend at work tend to be more focused, more passionate, and more loyal to their organizations. They get sick less often, suffer fewer accidents and change jobs less frequently.”
This same research also highlighted that having a best friend at work was one of the “strongest predictors of productivity.”
I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen this to be 100 percent true throughout my own professional experiences. Having close relationships at work create more meaning in the work that is done and construct an everyday routine that includes more excitement, joy and passion. Harvard Business Review says it best:
“Work camaraderie is more than just having fun. It is also about creating a common sense of purpose and the mentality that we are in-it together.”
The proof is in the pudding – business #besties are where it’s at. Looking to be more engaged in your work? Get to know your co-workers and not just on a superficial level. Learn about their interests and listen to stories about their family. Show curiosity when it comes to their projects and lend a helping hand when you can. You’ll soon find that you’re no longer surrounded by a group of people that you just kind of know at your weekly team meetings and instead surrounded by people you care about.
So…”go make friends.”