I have a cousin who always say, “I go to work, to work and leave. I don’t go to work to make friends.” and honestly, I had adapted that mentality as well. I always felt like I don’t want to be friends with anyone at work and I definitely don’t want y’all in my business, but after my first corporate job in a new city, I realized how important it was to have work friends! It made the work day go by faster and the job a little bit more fun.
It helps with productivity. When you have friends at work that you can talk to, you feel more productive as opposed to when you go to work and you don’t have friends. I’ve noticed the difference recently in my productivity in jobs were I’ve had friends and didn’t. In a job that I’ve had friends, I was more alert and attentive and actually liked my job, but a job that I did not have work friends, I was drained, always on my phone and unfocused.
Increases engagement. At a job with friends, you’re more likely to engage with others and work activities, mainly because you have a work friend that will go with you to these activities and you’re a little more comfortable and relaxed because someone you know is there.
Someone to vent to about work at work. If you are anything like me, you like to keep work at work and don’t like to go home and spend time thinking about how your boss made you mad or how this new process they implemented is not the smartest thing. If you have work friends, at lunch, you can vent to each other and get all of your frustrations out, that way by the time you go home, it’ll be off of your mind.
You can use them as references. If you need to use someone from your current job as a reference, you can put down one of your work friends or if you just need a reference period, and don’t have one else, you can always use your work friend. They have gotten to know you professionally and personally.
Become a friend outside of work. As you grow older, the friends you met in high school and/or college may drift off or you guys may be in different cities/states. So it’s hard to have a social life, but if you make work friends, those friends become your friends outside of work!