Why it’s important to have a work BFF

28 December 2016
By Fashion Quarterly

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Work wives, office gal pals and fellow girl bosses – science says we need them.

For most of us, the best part about coming into the office on a Monday is reuniting with our work best friend and catching up on weekend gossip.

Lunch time just wouldn’t be the same without your gal pal, whether you spend it hauling back food or going out for a quick stroll around the city before you have to go back to the desk. Ugh.

While you probably feel guilty about the amount of time you spend yarning with your work BFF instead of doing actual productive stuff, don’t!

Research has found that fostering strong friendships in the workplace is better for our health, and leads to higher levels of happiness in the office.

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Need more convincing?  Check out Tom Rath’s book Vital Friends: The People You Can’t Afford to Live Without, who’s research says employees who have best friends at work show much more engagement with their work – seven times more than people who don’t have a best friend.

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According to Tom, depending on your line of work, or whether you’re going through a bit of a challenging work phase, having good friends at the office will give you more motivation to get out of bed when you really don’t feel like it.

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Still unsure? Check out Harpers Bazaar’s top three reasons for having a work wife:

You’re more likely to collaborate positively:

According to Michelle Gibbings, an author and expert in organisational complexity, our brains are quick to judge whether we think someone is a ‘friend or foe’. You could have two people saying the same thing to you, but you’re more likely to take on board what your ‘friend’ says. “In the workplace this means if you see other people as ‘foe’ you are more likely to misinterpret their intent, which in turn leads to distrust, disagreement and unproductive competitive behaviour,” says Michelle.

You have someone who will understand your work challenges:

We all have grievances with work from time to time – when you try to tell friends outside of work, they need more context, and may even have a hard time empathising. With a work friend, you’re speaking the same language and ‘get’ each other. Just be careful about veering into gossipy territory that could do more harm than good.

You’ve got someone to split shipping costs with:

This is an added bonus and helps your bank account more than your health, but it still counts. And if you ever need to make an impulsive online shopping decision, who better than your work bestie.

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