How to Be a Friend to Girlfriends at Work
I know what things are good: Friendship & Work & Conversation. These I shall have. – Rupert Brooke
Maybe she put in a good word for you to land the job, or maybe you met at work. Regardless, working with women is not always what it’s cracked up to be. Sometimes, the office politics are too much to handle and gossip becomes a common language among workmates. Still, there has to be females in the workplace that are worth the friendship. A friendship with a trusted fellow female worker will help you both survive any work environment, or maybe even thrive while working together. Here are some tips on how to be a friend to girlfriends at work.
Make the most of work time to keep it pleasant and friendly. It’s not our imagination when we feel as if we spend more time with our workmates than anyone else. Working women spend most of their days either sleeping or at work. An American Time Use Survey revealed that we spend an average of 8.7 hours working or in work-related activities and 7.7 hours a day sleeping. However, Americans are less likely to have friends at work whom they associate with and consider as close friends outside of work. We, instead, tend to exchange the idea of developing friendships with becoming more productive while at work. However, you don’t have to substitute cultivating a lasting friendship for the sake of your job.
We simply don’t want to risk our jobs or our friendships, so we conclude that the two don’t mix well. We are reluctant to blend our work life with our private life, but the two do not need to be kept entirely separate. There is no reason why relationships with friends in the workplace need to interfere with work-related goals and progress.
Friendship at work Benefits: Less Stress and More Productivity!
Girlfriends make women: Healthier, Happier, Less Stressed, Live longer and Feel more Beautiful (that’s a lot of benefits of friendship!). Just reducing stress at work is a HUGE benefit of having a friend nearby!
Also, a Gallup poll survey, known as the Q12 Survey, revealed that having a good friend at work actually increases productivity. The results showed that employees who had a best friend in the workplace tend to be more focused and more loyal to the company where they work. It gets even better than that. The survey also indicated that when we have a close friend at work, we get sick less often, or at least take less sick days, suffer fewer work-related accidents, have more satisfied customers, and tend to stay at the company longer.
So, how do you maintain friendship to girlfriends at work?
If you don’t already work side-by-side with your bestie, the first step is making at least one good friend at work, and that means finding common ground. Being vulnerable breaks down walls and allows relationships to build quickly. Just be careful not to share too much personal information too soon or during times you should be working. Start by going to lunch with a co-worker and begin to build a relationship before committing to weekends and after-hour friendships. Most importantly, remember that gossip kills friendships, so eschew those negative conversations over the cubicle.
If you’re already working with a good friend, keep the relationship healthy. She’s got your back, and you have hers. Encourage her when she’s up for a promotion. If you’re in a position to do so, put in a good word for her quality of work. Talk about non-work related topics, but try not to isolate other co-workers to make them feel as if they sat down at the wrong high school clique’s lunch table. Good work buddies are able to move seamlessly from work-related to non-work related topics in conversations. There are some topics that are best left unsaid. For instance, don’t compare paychecks or bonuses in a hurtful, unhealthy way. Give her some space. Not many things kill a close relationship faster than feeling smothered, as if someone is clinging to your every move like a toddler hiding behind your skirt, or constantly watching and hovering over you, telling you what to do. Never, ever speak poorly about your friend behind her back.
How do you make and maintain friendships at work?
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