Think about making a friend of a co-worker. This might help the work day be more pleasant. My research shows that working with a friend you make on the job is more likely to improve a bad workplace situation and will enhance an already positive one. These workplace friendships may encourage workers to stay on the job, put forth their best effort, and aid one another to complete the work on time.
I interviewed a large number of workers in several different industries to determine if workplace friendships were positive or negative. The research appeared in several national publications. Did they negatively affect the bottom line or boost it? One person I interviewed was a tin worker, he worked in the HVAC industry as one of the people who installed ductwork in large commercial buildings. He didn’t like the work; after 15 years, it was “a snooze” his words. He found himself slowing down and not completing work on time. He’d blow off shifts and call in “sick.” A new guy, someone about five years older than my subject, joined the crew. One day at lunch the two men were eating together and the new guy revealed, “Today’s the anniversary of my daughter’s death.” The two men sat side-by-side, legs dangling over the side of the building they were working on. My subject didn’t say much to the new guy, just listened. From that day on, the two men talked more and spent most of each work day helping one another meet job deadlines. The “work days just flew by,” according to my subject. The topic of the daughter’s death never came up again, but it was the signal that the new guy trusted my subject. Trust is the foundation of friendship. This workplace friendship continued for five more years until the new guy moved on to a different crew. They never saw each other or spoke again.
Here, we see a friendship formed quickly with a positive impact on job duties and the workday of the people involved. I suspect the two men felt better emotionally and physically as well. Friendship is not only a gift but also a tool for well-being. If you don’t have a trusted workplace friendship, reach out. There might be someone waiting for you.