Even though having a friend at work can help boost productivity and increase job satisfaction, only 19% of people surveyed had close friends at work. So, what keeps us from bonding with our cube mates? Is it better to maintain a “professional distance” than to risk revealing too much about yourself? In this episode of Comm Capers, we’ll talk about the pros and cons of having friends in the workplace, what (or who) to watch out for, and strategies for cultivating more personal relationships at work.
It’s really about connection
While you might just want someone to eat lunch or catch happy hour with, consider a broader perspective. In his book, LEADERS EAT LAST, Simon Sinek talks about the concept of developing circles of safety – a group of people we trust, share values with, and look out for at work. Circles of safety give us a much needed sense of belonging. It is our willingness to look out for the people we work with that helps teams really thrive. And when the going gets tough, you’ll know who you can count on.
Fill your inner circle
It’s gets harder to make friends as we grow older! If you think you’re ready to up your friend game with a potential kindred spirit at work, keep in mind that workplace friendships can thrive as long as you are able to set boundaries to ensure your work gets done. And lastly, don’t despair if you haven’t found someone from work to join your Star Trek themed bocce ball league. Some people just like to keep their work and social lives separate. Shift your focus to building positive and working relationships. After all, professional distance can be beneficial, too.
Stuff We Talked About
• Having Work Friends Can Be Tricky, but It’s Worth It
• Psychologist shares the secret to making friends at work
• How Important Your Workplace Friendships Are Depends on Your Age
• Toxic Colleagues: Nine Coworkers To Watch Out For
• This American Life Podcast – Episode 587 The Perils of Intimacy
• This is how to make friends as an adult: Five secrets backed by research
• Simon Sinek’s Leaders Eat Last TED talk
• Zukey’s World Mews