A lot of employers might think that their employees being friends will cut down on actual work being done. In fact, this is the opposite of the truth! There are many benefits of having friends in the workplace; here are just seven of the reasons why you need to make friends at work.

1. You spend a lot of time at work.

Face it—most of your waking hours are spent at work! You see your co-workers more than you see your partner and family. If you’re not close with anyone at work, it would make all of that time intolerable. Seeing a friendly face will make the time pass more quickly than if you’re isolated in your cubicle.

2. You’ll enjoy work more.

Everyone has had a bad job that makes you dread getting up in the morning. It’s nice to look forward to going to work, if only because you want to share a story from the weekend with a friend. Having a friend at work can make any duty seem not so bad because you can either work together, or talk about it later on a break. If you work in different departments, or have different job titles, you can help each other out more. Has there ever been a disadvantage to being friends with the IT guy?

3. You’ll have a support system.

You might already have a built-in support system in your partner or family, but do you really want to spend your time off the clock talking about work? Plus, regardless of how supportive your loved ones are, they don’t really understand your job. Having a friend going through similar things helps because you won’t have to explain as much each time you start a story. They already know what you’re going through, who you’re dealing with, and will have valuable suggestions for how you can solve problems and accomplish goals.

4. You’ll feel a sense of belonging.

No one likes to feel lonely. Humans are social creatures, and that doesn’t change just because you’re on the clock. Having a friend, or a group of friendly faces, will help you feel like you belong at work. You’ll feel more open about sharing problems or successes, and this openness will create a great environment for communication. Besides just being beneficial for individual employees, it will be beneficial for the company because it builds a network for all employees to feel nurtured and that their suggestions and concerns will be taken to heart.

5. Loneliness reduces motivation and productivity.

Being isolated in your cubicle will suck your motivation for your job. You’ll feel disconnected from your co-workers and your job duties. Having friends at work has been shown to increase employee satisfaction up to 50%!

6. You’ll care more about your work.

Your job just isn’t a list of tasks once you have friends surrounding you. You will care about the people you’re working with, the community you’re building within the company. This will show in everyone’s passion for their job. It will also show to the community outside of work. Word will spread that it’s a good company to work for, and the new hires will be more quality, friendly people like those who are already employed.

7. You’ll improve your communication skills.

Talking with friends may be different than talking with your supervisor, but every little bit of communication helps. Having friendly conversations at work opens you up for more communication, so when it is time to face the boss, you’ll already be on a roll. Having friendly conversations might also help reduce your stress, so when you’re one-on-one with the head honcho, you’re more relaxed and less likely to jump the gun or act irrationally. You never know—it might help you see your boss as more friendly, too!

Most introverts don’t know how to make friends, and in this world where even extroverts are spending more time behind a screen, socializing is getting tricky. You Need a Plan! How To Make Friends If You’re An Introvert (part 1)

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