Why Office Friendships Help the Bottom Line

June 6, 2019

Your workplace well-being is closely linked to the relationships you have with the people in your office, a recent study has determined.

The three-year study, conducted by Martin Boult, senior director of professional services & international training at The Myers-Briggs Company, looked at data from more than 10,000 people in 131 countries.

The major finding: The top contributor to workplace well-being and employee happiness is relationships with coworkers. Other important factors include meaning, accomplishments, engagement and positive emotions.

Previous studies have suggested strong relationships at work can benefit employee health by increasing happiness and alleviating burnout. 

In the Myers-Briggs study, women showed slightly higher levels of engagement and positive emotions than men, although women and men had similar levels of well-being at work, per the study results. 

Jobs with the highest levels of well-being were service-related, like those in education and training, health care and technical fields, and community and social services jobs.

Those with the lowest levels of well-being include workers in more physical jobs like food preparation and service, and production.

The study also discovered older workers have higher well-being levels than younger workers. 

“Improving employee well-being is crucial for improving engagement. The biggest lever you can pull to get started is fostering more productive workplace relationships,” Boult said in a news release on the study results. 

Workplace well-being is linked to greater job satisfaction and commitment to a company, interest in helping coworkers and contributing to company objectives, and employee retention, per study results.

The Myers-Briggs study findings emphasize the importance of work environments that foster and support positive social relationships among employees, Sherrie Haynie, director of U.S. professional services for Myers-Briggs, wrote in Forbes

This could mean companies organize events with the goal of cultivating those connections, or let employees talk pop culture in the office, knowing brief productivity losses are worth the overall camaraderie gains, per HR Dive.

“Your success really largely depends on your ability to have a productive relationship with your colleagues,” workplace expert and author Lynn Taylor told CNN. 

Good relationships at work can benefit your spouse, too. A study released last year found that if one half of a couple is dealing with rudeness or incivility at work, it can affect sleep for both partners, if they’re in the same line of work.  

HR Dive notes the Myers-Briggs study report doesn’t mention money, which is typically employees’ top incentive. Haynie asserts high salaries, fun work environments and other perks might attract employees to a company, but aren’t necessarily factors in long-term well-being, per Forbes. 

See original article on Bizjournals.com