We all value friendship on the job, and for good reason.
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Anybody who has ever worked in a dysfunctional work environment knows all too well the emotional and personal toll a hellish work environment can take on employees, not to mention the quality of their work outputs.
On the other extreme, if you've had the pleasure of working in a job where everyone gets along and enjoys each other's company, you know how nice that can be and the positive impact it has on the quality of your work outputs.
Why Friendly Work Environments Perform Better
To be sure, there are a number of reasons why having a friendly work environment is so important.
- Better Individual Performance - When people like going to work, they are better workers. Without a doubt, working in a job where you enjoy the company of your fellow employees will make you enjoy work more and it will also allow you to do better work.
- Better Group Performance - Teamwork and camaraderie allows us to elevate our collective work performance to an even higher level. We are at our best when we rely on our co-workers to cooperate with us, to build relationships, and to lend support. We are most productive as a group when we have access to professional behavior, teamwork, and every once in a while, a little pat on the back.
- Better Employee Retention - Friendly employees will tend to stay in a job longer. Given the high costs of recruiting and training new employees, it's clear that creating a friendly work environment can be a key success factor for every organization.
Building Camaraderie at the Office
So who's job is it to make an office environment friendly?
If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. If you feel your office needs to be more friendly, you can do your part to make the office more friendly. Here are three easy things you can do to improve your work environment:
- Organize a Company Outing - Suggest a bowling outing or a visit to the local bar for happy hour. If doing something after work is out of the question, try organizing a lunch event…which could be as simple as going out to lunch together. The key is to get out of the office and bond in a way that is social in nature, not completely focused on work issues.
- Bring In Donuts - Check out the smiles that occur when people see that you've brought in donuts. Notice the conversations that ensue. We'd bet a fair amount that everybody will be in a better mood for the rest of the day.
- Make a Conscious Effort to Befriend Others - It's easy to stick to a routine and bury ourselves in work. Ultimately, though, that won't leave you very fulfilled or happy. Take the leap. Make some new friends.
Those three ways to improve office morale are simple, and anybody can do it. Don't wait for the boss or office manager to do something. They may be too busy or this kind of thing may not be their cup of tea. Just do it!
When it comes to improving your work environment, a good mantra is: If it is to, it is up to me!