58% of workers said happiness is more important to them than their salary, as found in a 2021 Friends in the Workplace survey by Wildgoose. But that’s not a nudge to pay your employees less — it’s quite the opposite… It’s a prod to encourage workplace friendships.
The same survey found that nearly 57% of respondents said having a good friend at work makes their job more enjoyable. They feel more supported and, in many cases, more productive, creative and happy at work.
In a world where loneliness has its own epidemic — approximately ⅓ of Americans say they are lonely, says CBS — it becomes even more important to promote workplace friendships.
But where do you begin, and how do you encourage workers to engage with each other in a meaningful way? That’s what we talk about in this blog post — we explain why work friendships are important and then provide tips for how employers can encourage friendships. Key Takeaways:
Encourage employees to make friends to increase work performance
45% of employees in large companies don’t have friends at work
57% of workers said having a good friend at work makes work more enjoyable
Why are friendships at work important?
Besides having someone to discuss what happened on the latest episode of The Last of Us, having friends at work can be very beneficial for both workers and employers.
Here’s why you should promote work friendships:
/ Improved work performance
A study by Gallup on why we need best friends at work found that men and women who have best friends at work perform better. Companies could see as much as 36% fewer safety incidents, 7% more engaged customers, and 12% higher profits.
Further research also says that having friends at work can increase innovative ideas and improve creativity and productivity. Workers are also more likely to feel engaged and satisfied when they have a work best friend. / Better employee retention
Workers who have a best friend at work are less likely to actively look for new job opportunities, according to Gallup. Moreover, those who have a friend at work are more likely to find their job more enjoyable. This explains why they look for fewer opportunities and are more likely to stay at the same company.
You improve your employee retention, which allows you to reduce training and hiring costs. A big win!
/ Improved wellbeing
With more workers than ever working remotely, there’s an increased risk of loneliness. It’s actually known as an epidemic in itself in the US.
A 2014 study found that those who experience loneliness often are more likely to be at risk of depression, chronic stress, and more than a two-fold increased risk of dementia and other cognitive problems as they age.
By creating an environment where friendships are encouraged, you improve the wellbeing of your workers and may just do your part to reduce loneliness. Doing so improves overall wellbeing, may reduce stress, and result in improved work and life performance.
Encourage employees to make friends at work
With more workers than ever working remotely, making friends at work can seem like quite an obstacle. But it’s not impossible! There are lots of ways you can help your workers make new friends.
For starters, create a work environment where friendships are encouraged. Think less cubicles and more open co-working spaces. How are workers supposed to make friends when they’re staring at the same white wall day in and day out? For your remote workers, make sure they are included in all necessary meetings and remote get-togethers.
Team building events and exercises are also encouraged. At FitPros, we host various virtual team-building events such as murder mysteries, magic shows, and great escapes. We also have in-person events ideal if you have an entirely office-based workforce.
These team-building events are great for improving communication and developing friendships. The results are two-fold — your employees get to know each other better and feel more open and connected, resulting in better work performance and communication.
Other ways to help employees make friends include:
Organize regular social events (and include remote workers)
Create a welcoming onboarding process
Lead by example
Provide a comfortable and supportive space for interaction
Add a busy system (excellent for new hires)
Get social and work toward your goals
When you purchase FitPros with the app and LIVE, your employees can attend live sessions such as yoga, stretching, and strength training. We also host team-building activities and challenges.
Your employees can enter challenges and compete against each other. In the app, they can motivate, comment, and interact with each other, much like any other social app. It’s a great way to get your employees active while encouraging participation and improving teamwork and communication.
For those chasing New Year’s resolutions, it’s a great way to keep each other accountable. View recent activities, see who’s attending what live event or session, and support each other to reach your goals.
Contact us today to learn more!
Author: Lindsay Johnson, CEO and Founder of FitPros
FitPros is a turn-key wellness provider empowering people to take charge of their personal health.
Contact FitPros to diversify your company’s wellbeing offerings and help employees meet their health & fitness goals.