The company I work at released a new employee engagement survey this year, and one of the questions included in it elicited A LOT of strong reactions.
Do you have a work best friend?
To me, this question seemed simple to answer. Furthermore, the reason my employer would ask it also seemed clear to me – but that definitely wasn’t the case for many of my colleagues. It was so confusing to some, that we actually had to address that specific question during a Q&A session in a townhall meeting (with hundreds of attendees).
From my own personal experience, I know that having a bestie at work can make a huge difference in my happiness and engagement. I’ve only worked one job where I didn’t have a close friend, and my days felt like they dragged on forever, and certainly felt less fulfilling.
Research shows the benefits of having a workplace BFF. According to Gallup, there is:
“A concrete link between having a best friend at work and the amount of effort employees expend in their job. For example, women who strongly agree they have a best friend at work are more than twice as likely to be engaged (63%) compared with the women who say otherwise (29%).”
“Those who [have a best friend at work] are seven times as likely to be engaged in their jobs, are better at engaging customers, produce higher quality work, have higher well-being, and are less likely to get injured on the job.”
Based on the number of people who were confused/reacted adversely to the question in my workplace, I would hazard a guess and say that people who have work best friends are in the minority. Gallup also says the question “is among the most controversial [we’ve] asked in 30 years of employee engagement research”. That makes me feel lucky to be able to answer the question so easily.
In the picture above you’ll see a selfie of me and Nora, my work bestie (and truly good friend, whether at work or not). She’s the person I can laugh with when times get real rough, and we cheer each other on through our wins and accomplishments. I can look back fondly at some of the hardest things I’ve gone through at work because Nora was there for me.
We work on separate teams now, which is sad for me because I don’t get to see her every day, but we still make sure to check in with one another on Skype (even if it’s just to send a funny meme at lunch). In some ways, I’m glad we’re in different roles now because our friendship has evolved from workplace to real life – something I think a lot of people struggle with.
I’m lucky to have carried a few of my work besties into my life outside my job (Hi Wit! Hi Danny!), and I know we’ll be friends for years to come 🙂
I’m curious – do you have a work best friend? Is that question easy for you to answer? If you do have a work best friend, would you consider them a friend outside of your 9 to 5? I’d love to know!
As always, thank you so much for reading! Xo