Work can be a challenging and stressful environment, but having a close friend by your side can make all the difference. According to a study by Gallup, employees with a best friend at work are more likely to be engaged in their job, and those with strong social connections are happier and more productive than those without. The data also shows that having a bestie at work has become more important since the start of the pandemic. However, making friends in the workplace isn't always easy. Here's what you need to know about building strong relationships with your co-workers and coping when your work soulmate moves on.

In today's world, we spend a significant amount of time in our workplaces, often spending eight or more hours each day. It's important to have a good workplace environment that fosters positive relationships and a sense of community. Building strong relationships with your co-workers can lead to increased job satisfaction and higher productivity. However, not everyone at work needs to be your friend, and it's important to set boundaries and maintain a professional demeanour while still being friendly. By building strong relationships with your co-workers, you can create a supportive and productive work environment that benefits everyone involved.

One of the most important factors in building strong relationships with co-workers is communication. Make an effort to get to know your colleagues, both personally and professionally. Ask questions about their interests and hobbies, and be open to sharing your own. By establishing a personal connection, you can build a foundation of trust and respect that can lead to a more productive and supportive work environment. Additionally, finding common ground is also crucial in building work relationships. Look for opportunities to bond over shared interests or experiences, whether it's grabbing lunch together or joining a work-related club or group. By finding common ground, you can establish a sense of camaraderie and support that can help you navigate the challenges of the workplace.

Coping with the departure of your work bestie

Despite your best efforts, there may come a time when your work bestie decides to move on. Whether they're leaving for a new job or a new opportunity, their departure can be difficult to cope with. However, it's important to remember that change is a natural part of the workplace. The average worker will have 10-15 jobs over the course of their career. Here's what you need to know about coping with the loss of your work bestie.

  • First, it's important to acknowledge your feelings. Losing a close colleague can trigger feelings of sadness, grief, and loneliness. Allow yourself to feel those emotions, but don't let them consume you. Reach out to your friends for support or talk to a therapist if you need help processing your feelings.
  • It's also important to stay connected with your departing co-worker, if possible. Social media and messaging apps make it easier than ever to maintain those connections, whether it's sending a quick message to check in or scheduling a catch-up call or lunch. While it's not the same as seeing them in person every day, maintaining those connections can help ease the transition and keep your friendship alive.
  • At the same time, it's important to recognize that your work dynamic will change. Losing a close co-worker can lead to decreased job satisfaction and increased stress. It's natural to feel like you've lost a support system, but it's important to remember that change can also bring new opportunities for growth and development. Use this as a chance to forge new connections and build new relationships with your colleagues. Look for new mentorship opportunities or consider taking on a new project to expand your skillset.

At the end of the day, having a work bestie is about more than just fun and games. It's about building a community of support that can help you navigate the ups and downs of the workplace. So if you find yourself feeling lost without your work soulmate, don't despair. Take some time to mourn the loss of your friendship, but then focus on building new connections and seeking out new opportunities for growth and development. With time, you may find that your new work relationships are just as rewarding and fulfilling as the old ones.