There are a few reasons why you should develop relationships with your co-workers, including it reduces stress, it’s revealing, and it allows you to leave with support.

Getting to know your co-workers makes the job more bearable. Studies show workers who have a best friend at work are happier, more productive, and are seven times more likely to be engaged in the job. While it’s probably easier to remain aloof and do the job at hand, here are our top three reasons to dig in and engage with the people around you at the office.

Reason 1: It’s a Stress Reducer

Stress in the workplace is no joke. It can cause physical symptoms like headaches, nausea, high blood pressure, and more. The anxiety from stress in the workplace needs a release, or it could tear you up both mentally and physically. That’s where the relationship with co-workers can help.

Forming positive relationships at work can counteract any negatives from stress you may experience. Developing friendships with co-workers means you build your support network beyond your circle of family or friends outside work. It gives you someone to lean on and share your thoughts right there on the job, instead of carrying the burden of a stressful workplace home.

Lacking a friend at work can also add to your stress. It can make you feel alone, left out, and not a part of the crowd. In a team environment, being the outcast is a difficult and stress-inducing place where no one wants to be. Even if your role is a temporary position, make an effort to get to know your team.

Reason 2: It Helps Team Productivity

Getting to know people helps you understand their motivations and the reasons why they do what they do. Building friendships at work can help with communication when working on a project. Getting to know your colleagues beyond the computers and spreadsheets and reporting requires an effort sometimes, but it is always worth it. It will be easier for co-workers to understand your point of view, and help you understand theirs. This improves collaboration and teamwork on the job, yes, but you might be surprised at how long-lasting some of these friendships are.

Reason 3: It Can Help Your Career

You never know where a work friendship can lead. If you end up leaving the job, whether through a layoff, firing, or just voluntarily moving on, every friendship builds another link in your network. These links could lead you to a new job opportunity or provide you with an essential reference at a time when you’re career is uncertain. Building a network of positive relationships at work will outlast whatever happens to you in that job. The people you connect with may serve as job references. They can write LinkedIn recommendations and introduce you to their contacts.

The point is that developing work friendships makes work more bearable and benefits your career, sometimes in unexpected ways. While it may feel awkward to step outside your comfort zone and approach the people around you, it is always worth it.


If you’re in an environment where it’s tough to make new connections, maybe it’s time to make a switch. Contact IES to explore your options.

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