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Friends at Work

Having been in management and having studied management for a long time you get to know a few things. In 2011 I was surrounded by ‘ positive psychology ‘, this was mainly due to the fact that my manager and my only peer were both completing their master’s degree in positive psychology and then further, my former employer, was rolling out a positive psychology program for the leadership team.

Being a self-confessed untrained pop psychologist, I loved it.

One of the super interesting factoids that were to emerge from the melting pot of experience and discussions and surveys of this year was that – research has found that a key element of employee satisfaction at work is linked to whether they ‘have friends at work’.

Sounds pretty simple but think about it – it’s true.

I have always told people that in the corporate world you need to have peers that you can dump on all the things that you find frustrating. This allows you to unload to a sympathetic ear; it’s a type of release. If you don’t have this you can end up like a wound up spring.

Upon hearing this news I did something that sounds kind of dumb but made sense to me – in my corporate instant messaging platform – I created a new group call “my friends” and I put all my friends into this group. Because people were always available on IM if they were working I could always see my friends and communicate with them. Invite them for a coffee etc…

To be honest it only made a small difference but it was nice to know I had friends and they were around.

My challenge to you is to think about your friends at work. What can you do to better engage with them? What can you do to mutually unload your frustrations? What can you do to encourage each other?

You never know if you try it out – you may just enjoy your work more.


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