Why having a best friend at work might be the key to job satisfaction

Why having a best friend at work might be the key to job satisfaction

Hurry, come up with a moderately motivating phrase regarding employment.

It's likely that you chose one of the numerous versions of the phrase: "If you pursue your passion, you won't feel like you're working." Alternatively, Steve Jobs expressed it by saying: "The key to performing exceptional work is to have a deep passion for what you do."

Why having a best friend at work might be the key to job satisfaction - Figure 1
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These quotes, the excessive admiration for those who said them, and the unrealistic glorification of the "hustle culture" have led us to believe that pursuing our passions is the sole path to achieve job contentment.

Where else can you discover it? In a fantastic benefits plan? An equilibrium between work and personal life? Your colleagues?

Hmm...perhaps the previous option.

"Top Friend: Trust Me"

Numerous studies, such as those conducted by Gallup before the pandemic and the Harvard Business Review recently, have discovered that having a close friend at work significantly contributes to developing a good rapport with one's occupation.

Workers have the potential to attain a level of engagement that is as much as seven times greater than the norm. This engagement allows for better management of stress, heightened satisfaction levels, and increased confidence in self-expression. Such outcomes can lead not only to improved performance but also potentially lower the risk of burnout.

These advantages are particularly linked to having a close friend at work (not to be mistaken for just any positive professional bond), which pertains to the emotions and behavior of interpersonal connections, according to Dr. Robert Chandler, a clinical psychologist who works at The LightHouse Arabia.

of our lives spent working. That's a lot of time! It's important to make sure that the work we do is fulfilling and meaningful to us. Otherwise, we can end up feeling burnt out and unfulfilled. By finding work that we are passionate about, or at least finding ways to bring passion into the work we do, we can make the most of our time and feel more fulfilled in our daily lives. Plus, when we enjoy our work, we are more likely to be productive and successful in our careers. So, take some time to reflect on what motivates you and what type of work would bring you the most joy, and then take steps to make it a reality. Your future self will thank you!

The head honcho of Gallup, Jon Clifton, recently graced the World Government Summit held in Dubai.

Having a best friend at work is like having someone who supports you no matter what. This person knows you both personally and professionally, and understands your strengths, weaknesses, and all the little quirks that make you you. The bond between you is built on a foundation of trust and mutual support, meaning you can count on each other no matter what comes your way.

Basically, you feel safe and comfortable around this person because they create an atmosphere of emotional security.

According to Dr. Chandler, typical solid connections among coworkers are typically established concerning their occupation or the activities they need to do. It's all about achieving a goal together while having a harmonious, considerate, and amicable environment in the workplace.

According to Noona Nafousi, a coach who specializes in career and corporate leadership and runs the company Neo Noor, there is a significant distinction between having a positive relationship with a coworker and having a work best friend. The connection with a work best friend is stronger and more meaningful, as they offer a secure and non-judgmental environment where you can truly be yourself.

Making friends with your coworkers or participating in social events organized by your company outside of working hours can be a great way to establish a strong friendship at work. You can build a positive relationship with your colleagues and deepen existing connections, which could lead to a close bond. This is especially important when you spend so much time together at work. Take the opportunity to get to know your coworkers outside of the office setting and enjoy each other's company in a more relaxed and social environment. It might just be the start of a wonderful friendship!

Speaking from personal experience, having a work bestie is like having a supportive partnership. This means that you have a companion to share your frustrations with, work collaboratively alongside and boost your drive. They are the person you go to when you need a second opinion or even if the matter at hand seems trivial.

You watch over each other's emotional health and truly value each other's professional development too. I also discovered that this approach makes me more knowledgeable, responsible, and linked with my team.

! Take your time to get to know your colleagues and build relationships virtually. Start by introducing yourself during a team chat and participate in virtual social activities. Additionally, share some information about your personal interests during meetings. Remember to take it slow and not to hurry; building virtual relationships takes time.

Noona Nafousi, a coach specializing in career and corporate leadership, is the subject of this blog post.

A close friend at work can be a valuable support system when you're overwhelmed with tasks and projects. This kind of relationship has been portrayed in popular TV shows (like Grey's Anatomy, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Parks & Recreation) but has also been shown to contribute to a more positive work environment. In recent years, the importance of having a work bestie has become clearer.

According to the Gallup poll, individuals with a close work friend are not only inclined to remain with the company for an extended period, but they are also more likely to suggest their workplace to others.

During the World Government Summit held in Dubai, Gallup's top officer, Jon Clifton, made a statement stating that the work environment is causing harm to us. He shared Gallup's research depicting that a vast majority of employees, which accounts for 80%, either disengage silently or quit in a distressful manner due to their miserable work environment.

This is a fact that can be seen in trends like Minimalist Monday, peaceful resignations, and "bore outs." Clifton connected these trends to the fact that work consumes the most time in people's lives after sleeping. During the panel, he mentioned that we are estimated to spend 110,000 hours at work, which is equal to 13 years.

The pandemic exposed how work can take over our lives, leading to a major change in how workers approach their jobs. Some decided to work for themselves, focusing on their passions and having control over their work, while others looked for companies with positive work environments, valuing trust, belonging, inclusivity, and a balance between work and personal life beyond just receiving a paycheck.

Certain companies are adapting to these changes by providing their employees with flexible work arrangements, like a hybrid model, shortened 4.5-day work weeks, resources for mental wellness, and paid time off for those dealing with menstrual-related issues.

As having companionship at the workplace is crucial for a positive work atmosphere, what approaches can organizations implement to encourage such bonds between colleagues?

Creating A Friendship

When starting a new job, it's not always easy to immediately find someone you can connect with. Building friendships at work takes effort. Nafousi suggests that companies can begin by establishing a tight-knit environment.

Think about a workplace that isn't simply an office, but more of a community," she states. "Employers should create spaces that encourage closeness, compassion and shared admiration. This could be achieved by organizing team-building activities, establishing avenues for open discussions or hosting social occasions that enable staff to mingle beyond their usual duties."

At a personal level, Nafousi suggests beginning with something small.

According to her, you should initiate a brief introduction about yourself through the team chat, participate in fun virtual get-togethers, and talk about your hobbies a little during meetings. She advises not to do it too quickly, as the correct attitude and a strong sense of belonging can take you a long way.

Although having a close friend at work can be beneficial, don't forget the value of forming daily connections with coworkers, particularly if you work from home. Otherwise, it's simple to become isolated and experience feelings of loneliness. Dr. Chandler refers to this as a sense of detachment that stems from disassociating with oneself and others.

According to a study by the US National Institute on Ageing, loneliness can have negative effects on a person's mental and physical well-being, leading to reduced engagement, productivity, and motivation. If ignored, these consequences could become serious and have a significant impact. In fact, the study compared the detrimental effects of loneliness to smoking up to 15 cigarettes per day.

The essential point is that even if you don't encounter someone who meets all the criteria of a best friend, or if you like to maintain a boundary between your personal and professional life, it is still vital to put in effort and time to develop robust work connections. This will aid in gaining more satisfaction and happiness in your job.

Revised: September 08, 2023, 10:17 in the morning The blog post should be rewritten in free English.

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