Could Making Friends at Work be Your Next Best Career Move?

August 2, 2017

Canadian CFOs and Workers Don’t See Eye to Eye When It Comes to Workplace Pals

Toronto, ON (August 2, 2017) -- Professionals typically spend more waking hours with their coworkers than anyone else, so friendships are bound to blossom. But does having confidants help or hinder efficiency at work? In a recent survey from staffing firm Accountemps, 61 per cent of Canadian employees said having coworkers that are friends outside of the office positively affects productivity. But only 36 per cent of Canadian CFOs think the same, and 57 per cent said work friendships have no effect on productivity.

Workers and CFOs were both asked, “In your opinion, when coworkers are friends outside of the office, how does it affect productivity?*”

 

Workers

CFOs

Very positively

17%

2%

Somewhat positively

44%

34%

No effect

23%

57%

Somewhat negatively

10%

6%

Very negatively

1%

0%

Don’t know

4%

2%

 

99%

101%

*Responses do not total 100 per cent due to rounding.

Infographic about friends at work

A separate survey from Robert Half, the parent company of Accountemps, found that professionals who feel they have good friends at work are 1.6 times more likely to be happy at work than those who don’t.

“A work friend can be more than just someone to spend your lunchbreak with – they can also play a pivotal role in progressing in your career,” said Dianne Hunnam-Jones, Canadian president of Accountemps. “Professionals with solid office relationships benefit from the added support and encouragement of their peers, and are happier and more confident at work.”

Managers should seek opportunities for team-building to help their staff connect both in and out of the office, added Hunnam-Jones. “Cultivating a strong sense of camaraderie contributes to a positive work environment, and a more motivated, productive and loyal workforce.”

Accountemps offers employees and managers the following tips for fostering friendships in the office:

Tips for Employees

Tips for Managers

Join the club. Actively participate in team-building activities, social events, sports leagues and interest groups organized by your company and colleagues.

 

Build a support system. Companies should create opportunities for employees to bond during working hours. Set up teambuilding activities outside the office to help employees foster new friendships.

 

Lend a helping hand. Offering assistance to a colleague on a project or task can help establish future connections. And your peer is likely to reciprocate when you are in need.

 

It’s all about perception. During interviews with candidates, highlight aspects of your corporate culture. If employees don’t get along, it may deter the applicant from accepting the position.

 

Set boundaries. Establish clear guidelines with work friends about keeping personal information private. And don’t let friendly banter disrupt you or your colleagues’ productivity.

 

Don’t play favourites. Managers should make it a point to treat all employees fairly and have a friendly attitude toward everyone so others don’t feel left out.

 

About the Research

The surveys were developed by Accountemps and conducted by independent research firms. They include responses from more than 400 Canadian workers age 18 and older who work in an office environment, and more than 270 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in Canada.

About Accountemps

Accountemps, a Robert Half company, is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. The staffing firm has 325 offices worldwide. More resources, including job search services and the company’s blog, can be found at roberthalf.ca/accountemps. Follow us at @RobertHalf_CAN for additional workplace news and hiring trends.