It is a fact that we spend most of our time at work. According to a survey of the US Department of Labor, employed persons between the ages of 25 and 54 spend an average of 8.7 hours working every day. Whats’ worse, the work week even extends to more than the standard 40 hours, and the average US employee unfortunately takes only about half of their eligible paid time off. These types of surveys show that while employee engagement at work is an all-time low, job satisfaction and productivity have decelerated at a considerable speed, at least in the US.

How to be better engaged at work ?

In the other side of the world, thriving companies are looking for ways to make employees engage better at work. Michael Lim, the CEO of Exist Software Laboratories said that the secret to rising a million sales for the year 2016 was due to the increased productivity of his employees that comes from hardwork and dedication: these were extracts from the companys’ urge to always put camaraderie atop, and this is what they have been doing from the get go. Hence, one of the most important core values of Exist Laboratories is fun. With the help of the human resources department, the top management drives the spirit of friendship through camaraderie – with which a little weirdness in pursuing their passion can extend positivism across teams. Their ultimate goal is to setup a company where everyone feels like a family. It is the only value that lengthens employee retention at a very low cost.

The success of friendship

Most homegrown companies have assembled their success through friendships. With indefinite trust coupled with hardwork, this group of friends faced disappointments and rejections together before finally tasting the peak of success; ultimately hiring more friends – thus creating a bigger family. A company that can successfully build a network of friendship, resent politics, and continue to grow in comradeship will always get a positive feedback among peer businesses. Some companies with this story – among them Google, Apple, and Facebook have built reputations for fostering camaraderie at work. Comradeship has become their competitive advantage for recruiting excellent employees.

All hiring committees admit that the one thing most applicants expect from a company is an environment of challenge and fun. Without these, employees will never discover job satisfaction. In the end, what better way to establish office friendship than being fun while welding their crafts? In fact, some have strategized a referral system where network of friends can invite each other to work for the company.

Friendship ? Yes, but in a friendly space !

One tip to survive in an open space environment is to make that your office is a familiar and pleasant working environment. This can be achieved by making the office a comfort zone — placing couches in meeting rooms, setting up a gym or yoga room for the health conscious, offering free coffee and soft drinks, setting up sleeping quarters, ensuring that companys’ core values are practiced everyday by placing friendly messages across the hallways, and always motivating employees by providing satisfying remunerations and rewards. A simple way of building friendship is during coffee breaks ; or doing yoga together with a colleague can be so much fun. Employees report that sometimes the only thing that motivates them to go to the office is because they’re going to spend the day with friends.

The advantages of work friendship

Friendship at work is an effective form of social support network. In a very stressful work environment, fixing a critical issue during meetings with a friend is much more worthwhile than mechanically fixing one with an unfamiliar colleague. Friends root for each other on promotions, console each other about mistakes, give advice and provide support for personal situations. Most of the time office friendships can even be brought to the outside world through unforgettable night outs, hiking or travelling. Finding common ground can certainly help make office friendships flourish and a very strong friendship calls for lesser absences and more productivity.

Amortegui explains that workplaces that convert their employees ‘untenable ties into the durable bonds shared by fast friends will have cultures and communities that are alive and generative–in one word, thriving. As denizens of these communities, we will be doing something even more powerful than bringing our lives and souls with us to work: We will be sharing them with friends. This brings us back to the fact that since we devote plenty of our time at work, why not make our every working day worthwhile by guarding ourselves down and revealing our positive side with trustworthy colleagues? At the end of the day, it is always up to us to choose our peers.

Nice friends, better work

Once work becomes a major source of friendship, people can even go to the office on weekends to complete an exhaustive task knowing that someone will always back them up unconditionally. An environment filled with nice chitchats can sometimes horribly result to gossips, but with real friendships growing among employees, they can surely battle with it because theyr’e putting attitudes and personalities aside.