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UK workers relying on colleagues for personal and professional support

Encouraging staff friendships is beneficial for employers

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Friendships are important to our overall happiness, and the companions we make at work are a big part of this. In fact, the majority (68%) of UK professionals consider their colleagues to be their friends, with this number rising to almost three quarters (74.2%) amongst millennials. That’s according to CV-Library, the UK’s leading independent job board.

The survey of 1,200 professionals explored how much UK workers value their friendships in the workplace and whether they rely on their colleagues for support. The findings reveal that a staggering 90.2% of UK professionals believe it’s important to get on with your co-workers, with the research outlining several benefits of doing so:

  • They help me with my workload - 60.8%
  • They make me laugh - 55.1%
  • They make work more fun - 53.2%
  • They support me through bad times - 38.7%
  • They complement me on my work - 33.5%

 Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library comments on the findings:

It’s great to see that professionals value their co-workers, with many considering them to be their good friends. We spend a lot of time at work, and as such, a friendly working environment is important. As an employer, it’s vital that you create a good company culture and this should sit at the top of your priority list. Doing so is beneficial for both your staff and your business and can have a number of positive effects on your workplace; from increasing productivity to ensuring staff work well as a team.”

What’s more, professionals were asked to explain why they believe work friendships are so important, with nearly half (43.6%) stating that getting on with your colleagues helps you to work better as a team. Others believe that these friendships are vital as you spend every day together (32.8%). That said, of the 9.8% who don’t think it’s important to get on with your co-workers, 83.3% said this was because you’re at work to work, not socialise.

Interestingly, the study also found that over two thirds (68%) of professionals believe their work relationships have had a positive impact on their personal life, with 43.1% claiming that they have helped them through problems or have distracted them from their problems (33.9%).

Biggins continues: 

It’s important to create a positive working environment and encourage staff to get along. While it’s understandable that you don’t want your employees gossiping all day, positive relationships are important for improved teamwork and cooperation around the office. What’s more, your employees can help one and another through difficult times. In this case, try to strike a balance; you can arrange social events after hours for staff to get to know one another and blow off some steam outside of work. After all, when employees spend every day together, it’s essential that there’s no negativity or bad feelings – these could impact productivity and morale.”