According a a study from Tel Aviv University, a positive relationships with colleagues has been correlated to long-term health benefits. This extensive study followed 820 adults who worked on average 9 hours per day over a period of 20 years. It was found that participants who report low social support from work had an increased risk (140%!) of dying within the next 20 years.
According to a study by Gallup, having a best friend at work significantly increase workers' engagement level, up to 7 times higher!
And it doesn’t have to be a best friend to increase productivity, this study also discovered colleagues with a “good” friendship were more likely to be productive and satisfied.
Identify exactly what you need from your colleagues, and then try to understand what your colleagues need from you. Now picture what an ideal relationship would look like, does it look reasonable?
Exhibit positivity, consistently. It will attract and endear your colleagues. Plus no one wants to be around negative people all the time.
While having real friends at work is great, it’s easy for socializing to encroach and influence on your role, so it’s important that you set boundaries around how much time you can spend socializing each day. At first, you might need to be a little assertive to ensure that dealing with your friends doesn’t dominate your time but once that bar is set, it should be fine.
This sounds a lot easier that it looks, and gossiping can be a major hinderance to productivity and relationships in the office. If there’s an issue, talk to the parties in question in private, not around them via colleagues. If someone’s gossiping to you, try and exit the subject.
This particular skill takes time and practice, but people respond best when they know they’ve been listened to. It’s also a key building block for trust between colleagues.
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