Many of us purposefully separate work life from the rest of our lives, and there’s nothing wrong with that. We’re all about a good work life balance, which can sometimes mean drawing a clear line between work relationships and personal relationships. But this doesn’t always have to be the case. In fact, here are three ways that making close friends at work can benefit other areas of your life.
1. Less stress
Feeling stressed about work is almost inevitable, and discussing your concerns is proven to be a helpful tool for managing this stress. When you’re stressed at work, you might wait until you get home to talk to a loved one about it, but oftentimes they don’t fully understand what you’re going through. Your coworkers get it, and in many cases, what’s stressing you out is also stressing them out. Connecting with your coworkers means you have someone to talk to who completely understands what you’re going through, and this is a great way to help relieve stress.
It’s important to note that we by no means encourage gossiping about coworkers or talking negatively about your boss at work. There is a clear line between talking about your stressors with a coworker and contributing to an unhealthy work environment by spreading negativity. If you have a concern with another person at work, instead of talking about them negatively, consider respectfully confronting them.
2. More productivity
You might think that socializing with your coworkers would lead to less productivity on the job, but this is not necessarily the case. In fact, becoming closer friends with your colleagues yields more candid feedback. This means you’ll have a more realistic idea of how well you’re doing your job and the areas you may need to improve. This will then lead to an increased motivation to perform well at work and will contribute to an overall sense of purpose and fulfillment in your daily life.
3. Healthier heart
Friends are good for your health and research has proven this time and time again. Specifically, a Swedish study conducted over 3 years with over 13,600 participants concluded that men and women with few or no close friends have about a 50% higher risk of a heart attack than those with more friends (HealthDay). As we spend a significant amount of our lives at work, making social connections at work is a great way to ensure we are healthy, happy individuals.