Can getting closer to your coworkers actually benefit your well-being?


Often times we spend more time at work than we do at home, so it’s no surprise that our jobs are worth more than just a paycheck. The workplace is a social institution where the more quality relationships you have, the healthier the environment. Feelings of depression, stress and overall lack in productivity are all symptoms of an unhealthy work environment.

By cultivating steady friendships on the job, you can become a stronger employee and even improve your overall mental health. These are the key benefits of getting closer to your coworkers, as well as how to achieve them:

Minimizes stress and worry

Make sure to take advantage of any downtime in the workplace as an opportunity in the day for socialization. Studies show we need at least six hours of daily social time in order to increase our well-being and minimize worry. This means chatting up teammates on a lunch break or even making time to talk to them in-between duties. Short chats can provide mini breaks, which allow you get worries off your chest or clear your head.

Even if you are an introvert, data suggests that each hour of social time decreases your chances of having a bad day and improves your chances of having a good one. Even three hours of social engagement can reduce the odds of having a bad day by up to 10%.

Generates support and sense of community

Building connections with trusted colleagues makes work feel less lonely and isolating, and can ultimately help work seem more worthwhile. The more comfortable we feel, the more support we have on the job, the less depressed and more happy we tend to feel overall. Gallup reported that people who incorporate social interaction on the job are more likely to have positive experiences during the day, such as enjoying their tasks, feeling less tired and getting recognized for their successes.

Be sure to cheer for the teammates that get promoted and reach out to mentor those who are just starting. Not only will this help to build community and open doors for them to offer you future praise, but it will also aid in eliminating professional jealousy.

Research by author of Loneliness, professor John Cacioppo states that true health and happiness stems from not how many friends you have, but rather how connected you feel to them. The more connected you are with your coworkers, the more you know what to expect and are trusting of their ethics and integrity. Even by deeply connecting with a peer you are employing your values of authenticity, vulnerability and compassion. Remember that forming relationships with coworkers also promotes camaraderie through participating in social activities outside of the workforce, be it a holiday party or summer picnic.

Increases overall productivity

One of the most substantial benefits of social interaction at the workplace is the performance boost received. The saying ‘two minds are greater than one’ is a universal quote for a reason.

By simply working in groups on projects, you are fueled to perform more diligently and think more innovatively. Gallup observed that employees who have friends at work are 35% more likely to report commitment to quality and 37% more likely to report that someone else encourages their development.

Developing connections with more competent colleagues is known as the “spillover effect”, which poses challenges and fuels work ethic. Gallup’s research also showed that women who have close friendships in the workplace are 63% more likely to be engaged than women who don’t socialize at all. Studies share employees who socialize are more likely to take risks that lead to innovation. They are also more likely to rate their team members and their own performance more excellently.

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Click here to download: Benefits of Healthy Friendship at Work

Now that you know getting closer to your coworkers can actually benefit your well-being, you can carry around more details and reminders by downloading the infographic above or by clicking this link for more FREE Sanity Guides.


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