Monday, December 24, 2012

Not Happy at the Workite - Make Friends

No friends at work? It may be costing you your health and your company's bottom line.

If you have friends at work you might be thinking how weird is that?  Not as weird as you think. You may not even think about how having those friends at work impacts your day or how the work gets done.  If this is you then you are in the 20% - 30% who like their job.  Work is a pleasant activity, an opportunity to see those you like and care about; your friends there waiting for you. You may even look forward to going to work to be surrounded by this positive work environment.

For most people this is not the case.  Research shows 60% - 80% are unhappy with where they work.  If you are in this group, you may be wondering what it's like to have friends at work.  Or if not friends to just like those your spend most of your waking hours with. You dread getting up in the morning to go to work. You would rather do pretty much anything else than to have to go into where you work one more day. You may even be thinking if a better job with nicer people came along you would take it. This thinking is not just bad, it's toxix for you and your company.

Why is this important?

Research done during the Blue Zone Project demonstrates one of the keys to longevity and vitality is having close social contacts ie. friends.  The value of friends included in strong social network can not be underestimated in impacting your personal health and wellness. If you are wondering where you stand on vitality and what else you can do check out the Vitality Compass on the Blue Zone Project website. These days people are working longer hours, skipping vacations and working during personal time making it harder and harder to establish social connections outside the workplace.

Harvard Business Review in Why Friends Matter at Work and Life  reported "once you're on the job, having a best friend at work is a strong predictor of success. People might define "best" loosely (think of this as kindergarten where you can have more than one "best" friend), but according to a Gallup Organization study of more than 5 million workers over 35, 56% of the people who say they have a best friend at work are engaged, productive, and successful while only 8% of the ones who don't are."

Financial Times online in  Friendship in the Workplace sited Jessica Pryce-Jones, author of Happiness at Work, says: “Friends can help you be more productive because people tend to achieve more when they feel supported.”

To have someone at work you feel comfortable in sharing your frustrations, disappointments and problem solve difficult situations with your co-workers and even your boss minimizes feelings of disappointment, sadness and isolation in the work place.

Having friends at work, fuels job satisfaction, knowing you make a difference in the success of your company. In short, people who have friends at work, want to go to work, are committed the quality of their work, engaged in the company goals and are loyal.

As an employer your goal of creating a culture of wellness for your employees includes fostering healthy supportive friendships at work. It will not only produce healthy, product employees, it will positively impact your companies bottom line.

Your partner in health,

Health Consultant

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