Employee friendships: Should you encourage them?

Having friends at work can make the daily grind more bearable for your staff. But what does it mean for your business? Let’s explore.

First published on Thursday, Aug 13, 2020

Last updated on Wednesday, Aug 14, 2019

2 min read

The average person will spend a third of their lifetime at work. That’s a total of 90,000 hours.

So it’s no wonder co-workers form such strong bonds when they spend more time with each other than their loved ones. And that’s great for them. But what about you?

We explore the benefits and drawbacks of employee friendships.

Pro: Happy staff create a healthy business

If your staff strike up a rapport with each other, they’re more likely to enjoy coming into work every day.

They’ll be more positive and enjoy working alongside their teammates to achieve a common goal—and that can only benefit you. 

Con: Be wary of cliques

Cliques can cause real problems in your workplace.

They can make other co-workers feel left out and create a divide within your team. So watch out for these exclusive groups.

If they do appear, try to separate the people that are causing the problems and pair them up with others in your team.

Pro: Friendly staff stay longer

A recent study found that 60% of workers would be more likely to stay with a company if they had more friends at work.

So if you encourage your team to socialise, your staff are more likely to stay put. And that means your staff turnover stays low and you get to hold on to the talent you’ve helped nurture.

Con: Summer can be a nightmare

Think about it. When you’ve got two employees that are best buds, they’re going to want to spend time outside of work together.

They might books trips abroad, weekends away or festival tickets. And you’re the one that has to handle their holiday requests coming through at the same time.

If your place is fairly quiet, it’s not a problem. But in the summer months (especially, around bank holidays), you might not have room to let two people off at the same time.

And that means either disappointing one of them or putting more pressure on the staff already working that day. But don’t fret…

Our HR experts can help you figure out what’s right for your business in this situation. Call them now on 0800 783 2806.

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