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Should you be friends with your colleagues?

You spend 8 hours of your day in the office, 5 days a week. You chit-chat with your colleagues and may head to lunch together. And if there’s office gossip or shared woes, you may vent to each other. After all, who’ll understand your problems with your employer other than your colleagues? But there are some that say being friends with your colleagues can also backfire. So in this Pacific Prime Singapore article, we’ll tackle the age-old question: Should you be friends with your colleagues?

Individual health insurance blog

Being friends with colleagues seems to be the norm as it brings numerous benefits

Based on a survey of 3,000 Americans working full-time jobs, Olivet Nazarene University found that a whopping 82% of employees work with someone they consider a friend. In fact, 21% of employees manage to form these bonds within days of working together, while 18% claimed they spent an hour or more per day talking to their work friends. Sensitive topics are also discussed such as conflict with coworkers (64%), love life (58%), health issues (53%), and financial issues (33%). 

It can boost workplace happiness (and productivity)…

Humans are social creatures. So much so that it’s no surprise that having a friend to hang out with at work can make the day feel less long and dreary, and feeling connected to them can improve workplace happiness. As we know, happy employees are also productive employees. The numbers back this up. Team-building program provider Wildgoose USA found that 57% of employees believe work friends make their jobs more enjoyable, and 22% say these friendships make them more productive and creative. 

…but a whole generation of remote workers might be missing out

That being said, establishing workplace friendships have become a lot more difficult in the context of the pandemic. With more and more employees working from home, and many younger employees even having entered the workforce remotely, there are far less opportunities for watercooler chats, lunch time buddies, and more. Not only are this generation of remote workers missing out on workplace friendships, but many are also experiencing loneliness at work. 

Tip for employers: If you’re an employer who is reading this, you can create many opportunities for remote workers to connect with each other. This includes providing in-person and virtual team activities like escape rooms, trivia, and walking tours to help break the ice and encourage bonding. 

There are always two sides of the coin and employees should tread workplace friendships with caution

While there are numerous benefits associated with being friends with colleagues, employees should also remain slightly cautious when establishing these deeper bonds with their colleagues. As per the survey conducted by Olivet Nazarene University, employees with workplace friendships were more emotionally exhausted from their friendships than those without. In addition, any conflict amongst workplace friends can blur the line between employees’ personal and professional lives, making working together more awkward. 

Get in touch with Pacific Prime Singapore today!

Whether or not you have friends in your workplace, you’ll want to make sure you have group health insurance as part of your employee benefits. If you don’t have one or if the plan you have doesn’t meet your needs, then you’re welcome to get in touch with us at Pacific Prime Singapore. As a global health insurance brokerage with 20+ years of industry experience, we can help you with all your individual health needs

Contact us for an impartial consultation, tailored plan comparison, and support throughout your insurance journey!

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Content Creator at Pacific Prime Singapore
Suphanida aims to demystify the world of insurance by creating informative and engaging content. As a wordsmith, she spends the majority of her day writing and editing website content, blog posts, in-depth guides, and more.

Outside of work, Suphanida enjoys traveling to new places and immersing herself in different cultures.