Thinkers360

Fostering Friendship

May



There are a lot of reasons why we may or may not enjoy our jobs. From how fulfilling we find the work, to how much money we make, to the hours we’re required to keep, a complicated tangle of factors are involved with determining our job satisfaction and engagement. Due to our tendency to focus on elements such as salary and productivity, we tend to overlook an incredibly important facet of our experiences in the workplace: our friendships.

At a time that according to Gallup workplace engagement is lower than ever, it’s essential to take a look at the things that really make us feel good about our jobs, which are often the people we are surrounded with.

Think about it this way, what would make you more excited about your job, your KPI’s, the intranet, performance reviews, email upon email and the instant coffee or having genuine, real friendships with your co-workers. Relationships that allow you to connect, commiserate, laugh, and have some fun at work? The answer to me is obvious, and it’s the reason why I want to put a spotlight on the importance of fostering friendship in the workplace.

In this article, I’ll explore why it’s so important to have social connections in the workplace, dig into how powerful work friends are, and explain how gamification can help foster socialisation at work.

We Are Social Creatures

The same way that many animal species naturally live their lives in groups, instinctively choosing to be in each other’s company, human beings too, are hard-wired to be social. We naturally seek the companionship, approval, and guidance of others, and we’ve done so since we were Neanderthals in caves as part of our survival.

In fact, our social nature is part of our biology, our neurology. We even have a hormone that exists explicitly for that purpose. Oxytocin, often nicknamed the love hormone, encourages us to bond with friends, lovers, and family members. When we are physically close to others, our brains are flooded with oxytocin, giving us feelings of well-being and warmth that encourage us to connect with others more and more. In fact, studies have shown that oxytocin can even help increase our trust in other people.

And it’s not just about warm fuzzies; socialising is a matter of life or death and I’m not trying to be dramatic. Humans need each other to survive, not only to meet our primary physical needs for food, shelter, and reproduction, but also to keep us well. It’s proven: being socially isolated can increase your

By Luke Jamieson

Keywords: Customer Experience, Innovation, Leadership

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