Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

The surprising way being friends with your co-workers affects your career

leslie knope ann perkins parks and recreation.jpg

We’re not entirely sure how we’d make it through a day in the office without our work mates.

They’re always on hand to offer a cup of coffee, emergency make-up product or just an understanding ear when we have a very work-specific problem to tackle.

So we weren’t entirely surprised to read the results of a new study, which found that being friends with your co-workers can actually help to improve your performance in the office.

The study – excellently titled “Does fun promote learning?” – found that fun activities, such as socialising with our colleagues, can increase our informal learning while encouraging us to trade ideas, boosting our workplace-related knowledge.

Do you have a work wife?

Do you have a work wife?

Writing in the paper, which was published earlier this year in the Journal of Vocational Behavior, lead author Michael J. Tews at Penn State described the phenomenon as one that could help co-workers to develop closer relationships.

“When employees are afforded opportunities to socialise with one another, higher-quality relationships are more likely to develop, which can open the door for the exchange of ideas,” he said.

Read more: Stylist investigates the rise of work loneliness

And Tews had some advice for employers looking to boost the learning rates of their employees.

“The key practical implication is that organisations should consider fun as a viable strategy to promote informal learning beyond traditional learning supports,” he added.

Socialising with colleagues can benefit your career

Socialising with colleagues can benefit your career

The study follows the findings of another piece of research undertaken last year, which revealed that just under half of us don’t have any close friends at work.

The research, undertaken by charity Relate, found that 42% of us don’t have a single friend at work.

But with so many other benefits being ascribed to having pals at work, such as increased productivity and overall workplace satisfaction, it could be worth putting in a little time at the water cooler or offering to get a round of drinks for your team mates.

What are you waiting for? It’s time to find the Ann Perkins to your Leslie Knope.

Images: TV stills


stroud legend.PNG

Laptop with a view: how getting closer to nature fuels creativity

rewrite sexist homework facebook post.jpg

Woman rewrites daughter’s sexist homework after it shames working mums

reese witherspoon nicole kidman sexism hollywood.jpg

Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman on Hollywood sexism


Here’s what to do if your work space is driving you to distraction

Do you function better amid the chatter of colleagues?

12 Oct 2017

Awkward job advert goes viral, and a lot of people are concerned

“Yikes, there are so many red flags in one posting…”

by Kayleigh Dray
04 Oct 2017

How women are blocked from speaking out about maternity discrimination

The problem is still rife – but many women are banned from talking about it, say experts

by Moya Crockett
03 Oct 2017

How to recover after crying in front of your colleagues

It happens to the best of us. Here’s how to bounce back

by Moya Crockett
02 Oct 2017

Why a creative side project could benefit your health and your career

We're on the brink of a ‘creativity crisis’ according to experts

by Helen Brown
29 Sep 2017

This is why we should be doing 3-hour workdays, according to experts

Print this, laminate it, and give it to your boss

by Helen Brown
29 Sep 2017

Career experts reveal the one important trait that will help you excel

Three tricks to harness the mindset that leads to success

by Helen Brown
28 Sep 2017

These are the best careers websites to find the job of your dreams

Is a change on the cards for you?

by Megan Murray
25 Sep 2017

This unexpected town has been voted the best place to work in the UK

We didn’t see this one coming

by Moya Crockett
22 Sep 2017

How to use Instagram to boost your career (and land your dream job)

It’s time to make your Instagram account work as hard as you do…

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Sep 2017