A few weeks ago, I attended a get-together with some old colleagues from my college newspaper. In the 20-plus years since I graduated from Suffolk University in Boston, I haven’t kept in close touch with most of these people. But at this gathering—at the bar where we used to meet weekly to critique each issue—it seemed we hadn't really missed a beat in all that time.
Being together again brought back memories of a time when we all worked together toward a common goal: publishing a danged-good student newspaper that won multiple awards. What helped us toward that goal was the camaraderie among the staff; the laughs we shared, the mutual support, plus the friendships–and a couple of marriages–that developed.
Over the years, I can say without hesitation that the coworkers whose company I’ve really enjoyed were at the places where I thrived and felt most productive and comfortable.
If you think about your own work history, how much do you value relationships with your colleagues? For many of us, a job is just a job, but it can be more than that if you have coworkers you get along with.
In fact, workplace culture and "fitting in" can be the biggest differences between being happy at work and wanting to look for something else.
A recent survey backs that up: American workers seem to be happier at their jobs because of the friendships they cultivate with coworkers. According to Randstad US, a professional employment services and staffing provider that sponsored the study, 67% said having friends at work makes their job more fun and enjoyable. Also, 55% feel these relationships make their jobs more worthwhile and satisfying.
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