The Power of a Best Friend at Work

For this article by Jo Ilfeld, Executive Leadership Coach on workplace friendships the image shows two women at work smiling and chatting.

Do you have a best friend at work? Over the summer, when I was working remotely in Carmel, I found myself connecting with one of my close work friends. We shared a Zoom screen, working on our tasks while holding each other accountable. This experience got me thinking about the research that highlights the significant impact of having a best friend at work, even in today’s hybrid and pandemic-influenced work environments.

Research shows that having a work best friend increases job satisfaction, workplace safety, and happiness.

Since the pandemic and the rise of hybrid working, I think we have all become worse at intentionally reaching out to people, finding the time to make ourselves available for those short conversations designed merely to touch base with people.

My challenge to you this week is to make some time for having workplace conversations and interactions that are not transactional, and whose sole purpose is to build relationships and increase your workplace happiness. 

The key is intentional relationship-building. Here are some tips:

  • Reach Out Actively: Make yourself available for short, non-transactional conversations. Send a friendly text or leave a voicemail to touch base, not just when you need something.
  • Prioritize Relationships: Dedicate time to connect with your colleagues on a personal level. These interactions may not directly address work tasks, but they strengthen bonds and create a positive work environment.

Read More: Do You Share Your Insights With Others?

Jo Ilfeld, PhD

An executive leadership coach, Jo helps C-suite leaders, executives, and high-potential managers develop the flexibility, skill, and frame of mind to meet the challenges of the next five, ten, twenty years…. and beyond. She works with individuals, teams and organizations on four core areas of leadership development. Check out Jo's bio page for more information.

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