Friday 20 September 2019

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55% of workers say workplace friendships improve productivity

Wednesday, 10th July, 2019 4:50pm

Workplace friendships can lead to higher productivity in a majority of cases, according to new research this week. Furthermore, in an era where retaining your best staff is increasingly important, the research also suggests that people who work together (with friends), stay together!

The new research by Jobs.ie suggests many employers are overlooking the value of workplace friendships to their business.

According to the research, 55 per cent of workers say workplace friendships positively impacts on their productivity. 79 per cent of workers would like to see their employers do more to encourage workplace friendships and stronger connections between colleagues.

Based on a sample size of 2,770 employees, the survey identified the following benefits of workplace friendships:

- 74 per cent said it improves their general mood

- 55 per cent said it positively impacts productivity

- 36 per cent said it influences how they speak about their employer externally

- 31 per cent said it improves their general opinion of their employer

- 12 per cent said it has an influence on how long they stay with the company

 

Socialising with colleagues

51 per cent percent of employees only socialise with colleagues on special occasions, such as Christmas parties, leaving drinks or retirement drinks.

9 per cent socialise with colleagues at least once a week and a further 15 per cent socialise with colleagues at least once a month. 12 per cent only socialise with colleagues five times or less per year, while 13 per cent claim to never socialise with colleagues.

53 per cent of employees claim their employers don’t actively encourage socialising with colleagues. Only 22 per cent of those surveyed have a workplace social or wellness committee; 21 per cent say their employer organises nights out and 5 per cent organise team away days.

Those surveyed outlined a number of practical steps they would like to see introduced by their employer to strengthen relationships between colleagues.

69 per cent said they would like to see regular work nights out organised; 28 per cent talked about the creation of a social and wellness committee and 17 per cent referenced the introduction of a buddy system.

According to Christopher Paye, General Manager of Jobs.ie: “Most of us have experienced working in both happy and less-than-happy workplace environments. By extension, we recognise the value of friendship and camaraderie in a high-functioning and happy workplace.

“Strong workplace connections equal greater productivity, less tension, a more collaborative working culture, and greater staff retention. The latter has taken on renewed importance in recent years given the current competition for talent.

“Despite the multitude of very self-apparent benefits, our research suggests that many employers are failing to invest in proactively facilitating workplace socialising or to meet the expectations of their employees looking to develop closer bonds with colleagues,” he said.

Minimal investment

“The good news for employers is that this doesn’t have to be expensive. Sometimes it can be as simple as putting some money behind the bar on a Friday evening or marking a business win or the completion of a project by going for an afterwork drink.

“It doesn’t have to centre around alcohol or nights out, either. More and more businesses have internal social and wellness committees that regularly organise lunchtime walking clubs or summer tag rugby teams.

“As the majority of employees would like to see regular organised work nights out or social events, employers can demonstrate the importance of employee wellbeing within the workplace by facilitating these opportunities,” Mr Paye added.

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