Celebrating office buddies around the world

You may not know this, but today is National Best Friend Day. The day when you have another reason to celebrate the people without whom your world wouldn’t be the same. But life isn’t all playing in parks or drinking coffee with your closest friends. For most of us, we spend at least 30% of our lives working, which means our work buddies play an equally important role in our lives.

These are the people who keep you sane in the office, help out when work pressures get too tough or who are simply there to talk football results with. These colleagues play a hugely important role when it comes to advice, guidance and support, especially when you know they will be open and honest with you and because there are just some things you can’t talk about with your boss.

In fact, a 2013 Gallup report found that having friends at work increased your satisfaction and happiness levels by 50%. It also found that having a best friend at work could mean you are seven times more likely to be fully engaged. Put simply, workers are happier in their jobs when they have friendships with co-workers. Only recently, in this article for Fast Company, has the value of having buddies at work been underlined, pointing out that it gets you a professional support system, emotional nourishment and better communication skills, among other things.

Work buddies play an important role for the business, too. They help foster camaraderie and team building. From a game of baseball in the park to a team off-site at the beach, they create shared moments that go above and beyond the regular work relationship. Work buddies can also help with staff onboarding, giving new joiners a friendly (and less corporate face) to turn to in the early days when even simple tasks can prove challenging or daunting. They can also help with staff retention. We’ve all heard a leaving speech where the person heading off to a new job cites the part of work they’ll miss the most is the people. Regardless of geography, that is a recurring theme and underlines how important having connections at work is.

In a quest for a happy workplace that boosts engagement as well as the bottom line, workplace experts have measured all manner of things, from salaries to feedback to mentorship opportunities and, while valuable, none of it comes close to the impact of relationships. It is therefore vital that businesses have the systems in place to best help this happen. From the established top of the tree to new joiners, every business should be doing everything they can to connect their workforce so that making friends is as important as making money.

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