Why your work friends matter

I’ve had a lot of jobs. Some of the jobs were amazing where I gained a lot of experience and learned a lot about myself, whereas some other jobs not so much.  No matter what job I am in one thing that has always been really important to me are the people I work with. For me to be really happy in a job I need to be able to connect with the people I see everyday. I could work in a stressful environment and deal with some pretty crappy tasks if I have a great group of people to work with. Some of the best friends I have made have come from different jobs I have worked. (And yes, I still miss you!)

And it looks like I am not alone. In a study by Boston Consulting Group having “good relationships with colleagues” is rated second worldwide and third for Canada when looking at  26 factors for on the job happiness. That ranked above things like “attractive fixed salary” and “job security”, which didn’t even make the top 5 worldwide or Canada. 

And this makes a lot of sense to me. We want to be surrounded by like-minded people, especially if we don’t love our job. We want to be able to have someone to talk to and share experiences with. When you think about how much time you spend at work, why wouldn’t you want it to be with people who you have a positive working relationship? 

Since I’ve made several really great friends from work experiences I thought I would put together a list of some of what I think makes a really great work friend. 

Brainstorming 

I love being creative at home and at work. And for me a fun way to share all that creativity is during a brainstorming session. I love seeing where our imaginations could go and then figuring out where we actually end up. The best brainstorming sessions start as planning a small workshop and turn into an annual conference with an imaginary multimillion dollar budget. The creativity that I’ve shared during brainstorming  with my work friends are some of the most hilarious and productive times I’ve had at work. 
Bring a whiteboard and I’m yours. I’ll bring coffee. 

Honesty 

To be a great work friend I need you to be honest. You better be ready to tell me that the last paragraph in my report is terrible and that I have food in my teeth before I present in front of a bunch of strangers. I’ll do the same for you.

Reliable

When its crunch time I need to know that I can turn to you to share the workload, share the misery, and share all the glory. When we are working on a policy paper I know you’ll be ready with your section on time so that together we can get it done on time. I know that working with you means we are stronger together. You’ve got my back, and I've got yours. 

Fun 

You need to be able to have fun, even be a little bit goofy once in a while. Work can be stressful, and I love working with someone who can bring out the silly in all of us.  Whatever gets us laughing to get that stress out is what is needed - a funny story, a dance party to a random song or even a funny video. When in doubt go for a pun - I can never resist a great pun.

So have fun, be creative, and be that work friend you are looking for in someone else. Maybe your next work bestie is working away nearby.