The "work buddy" – friend or foe?

Erika Jeffs
Mon, April 24, 2017

The "work buddy" – friend or foe? Erika Jeffs

Mon, April 24, 2017

It’s estimated the average person over a lifetime, spends approximately 90,000 hours on the job. We’re living longer than ever, which means we ‘re working for longer too. So, never before has it been so important to have a happy and healthy work life.

The people you work with play a huge role in your workplace happiness. Having a friend at work means you have someone to go to with questions or concerns, someone to chat to about the weekend, to celebrate your wins, and console you in defeat. A work buddy sits with you at lunch, knows your coffee order and is comfortable telling you when you’re being too loud, when your desk is untidy or that your gym gear smells.

At Adslot we believe the positives of having a work buddy far outweigh the negatives and in an increasingly global and virtual environment, cultivating these relationships is a challenge. When making hiring decisions, we consider whether prospective candidates will fit into our culture and get along with their peers, and staff are incentivised to invite their friends to come work with us via our internal referral program.

How exactly does a workplace friendship affect our work?

Human beings are wired to make connections and we long to forge them with those around us. Friendships provide us comfort and give us a sense of identity and belonging.

Is it wise to keep your personal and professional lives separate or should you seek out and cultivate friendships at work?

Happy workers = better workers

There are countless benefits to having friends at work. Individuals with a friend at work are more likely to become engaged in their work, and close friendships at work can boost employee satisfaction. Both of these can directly impact workplace culture and (not surprisingly) boost overall results and productivity.

Think about it, when you have a close friend at work, you feel a stronger connection to the company, and you’re more excited about coming into work every day. Buddying up with co-workers can foster a sense of loyalty and camaraderie. Employees who are friends with their teammates, are more likely to want to avoid disappointing them and more likely to remain committed to the Company during challenging times. Work friendships can be about building a shared sense of purpose and creating a mindset that says ‘we’re all in this together’, encouraging employees to work hard and strive for better outcomes.

Furthermore, research shows that employees’ relationships with coworkers and supervisors increases the psychological meaningfulness in the workplace. Friends at work can provide a sounding board and a sometimes much-needed support network. They can boost an employee ‘s spirit, leading to a decline in stress levels and an improvement in health and wellbeing.

Awkward.

So what happens when work friendships go wrong? Well, the impact can be costly. Too much socialising can hamper productivity and encourage the formation of cliques, which often leads to exclusion and favouritism. Sharing a little too much can create issues when certain sensitive information is shared somewhere it shouldn’t. Workplace friendships can also be difficult to establish and maintain. For example, it can be difficult for a worker to be friends with their boss if they have to be reprimanded by that same person.

Sometimes work friendships get competitive too and professional jealousy can have a negative impact on the atmosphere of a team. When friendships break down, it can most certainly create workplace tension and an awkwardness that’s difficult to navigate.

Worth it? We think so…

When new starters join they are partnered up with established staff members so they have an immediate buddy in the office; someone to answer their queries, take them for coffee and make them feel welcomed.

We invest significantly in social activities and events to bring staff together. What better way to foster bonds than in a fun and informal setting like rock climbing or go-karting (certainly gives us something to chat about in the elevator!)

Introducing your new crew!

Communication, Respect and Collaboration are all things we value at Adslot and we believe form the basis of a strong relationship. Wouldn’t you want to work in a Company full of your buddies?

Check out our open vacancies here.