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Making friends at work: Do or don't?

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Your work life and private life should be kept separate. At least, that’s what people used to think. Nowadays, people separate these worlds from one another less and less, as a result of our current society with its 24/7 social media contact with friends: both privately, and in the business world.

SELF-CONFIDENCE AS A RESULT OF COLLEGIAL FRIENDSHIP

It’s an undisputed fact: if you feel good at work, you’ll perform better. You’ll feel more confident, and that’s just the beginning. The famous Maslow pyramid explains this phenomenon. When our basic needs, such as food and job security, are taken care of, our social needs are next. We spend a large portion of our lives at our workplace. It thus makes sense for the social contacts we have in the workplace to play an important part in taking care of our social needs. Am I valued and respected for who I am within this company? Do I fit in here? These are important questions we ask ourselves, whether consciously or subconsciously. By interacting with our colleagues in a friendly way, we are able to secure the next level of needs, the social ones: recognition, appreciation, and self-respect.

WIN-WIN

But why is this so important? As employer or hirer of staff, we strive to achieve the maximum level of labour productivity. When one of our staff members does not feel well and does not get along well with their colleagues, this hampers their motivation. In turn, this negatively affects labour productivity and the quality of their work. It also increases the chances of absenteeism, which costs money. But that’s not all that counts. In fact, our people’s wellbeing is even more important. Let’s face it, it is important for people to do their job while they’re at work, but friendships with colleagues are a strong motivator in this, like pleasant music in the background. And if people are motivated, they will perform better, both qualitatively and quantitatively. It’s the ultimate win-win situation!

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