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



The Department of Education reveals how much less it pays women

And teachers have responded

by Sarah Biddlecombe
28 Jun 2017

Golden rules of work happiness from Europe’s female tech leaders

From nap rooms to therapists and no overtime

by Anna Brech
22 Jun 2017

How hot does it have to get before you can legally go home from work?

As temperatures climb, it’s time to talk about your rights

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Jun 2017

Are you self-employed? These newsletters will help your business bloom

On-point emails packed with entrepreneurial tips

by Anna Brech
15 Jun 2017

How changing your name on your CV can boost career success

No deed poll required

by Kayleigh Dray
15 Jun 2017

This nanny job pays £50,000 – but you have to live in a haunted house

So… do you see dead people?

by Kayleigh Dray
15 Jun 2017

Annie Mac nails why maternity leave can be so difficult for many women

“It’s always weird when someone else does your job”

12 Jun 2017

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

Fire up your imagination by heading outdoors

by Anna Brech
08 Jun 2017

Borrow Amazon’s ‘pizza rule’ for more productive meetings

Napkins at the ready...

by Anna Brech
08 Jun 2017

Women doing ‘men's work’: striking images smash gender clichés

Photographer wants his two-year-old girl to know there are no limits

by Anna Brech
08 Jun 2017