Why you need friends at work, and 5 easy ways to bond with your coworkers


Facebook staff, happy employees

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Making friends with coworkers can make any job more enjoyable and fulfilling.

Having friends at work is hugely beneficial.


Psychologist and author Ron Friedman points out in his book, "The Best Place to Work," that workplace friendships are one of the strongest predictors of productivity and success, according to research.

He previously told Business Insider that meaningful connections are vital to our psychological and physical well-being: "In fact, many scientists now believe it's impossible to perform at our best unless we feel connected to others."

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Friedman explained that we're fundamentally social creatures. When we feel isolated or excluded, that experience is painful and psychologically taxing, damaging our ability to focus.

"Studies show that prolonged loneliness can have a crippling effect, beyond regular work hours," he said. "Lonely people have a harder time relaxing and falling asleep. Over time, extended bouts of loneliness can lead to memory and learning deficits."


But in 1985, about 50% of Americans said that they had a close friend at work, but by 2004 only 30% agreed with this, according to The New York Times.

"Connecting and engaging with colleagues can make for a friendly, happy, and more productive work environment," says Alyssa Gelbard, founder and president of Resume Strategists.

She says you don't have to tell your coworkers your deepest secrets, but you do want to move past the usual "weather and work" elevator talk.

Here are Gelbard's five suggestions on how to make friends at work: