We traditionally think about work and life as two completely separate entities. We’re often told that it’s important to set healthy boundaries between the two. But recent research shows that becoming friends with your coworkers actually has some surprising benefits that you don’t want to miss out on.
There are probably a few people you know at work who invite you out for coffee or ask if you want to grab lunch. It might be time you say yes and put in some effort.
That’s because being friends with your coworkers could improve your performance in the office.
A study published in the Journal of Vocational Behavior showed that good—nay, friendly—relationships made at work will help you come up with better ideas and enjoy your office experience much more. Michael J. Tews at Penn State led the study, and here’s what he had to say:
It makes sense. People want to feel like they belong to a core team, and that’s much more achievable if you’re friends with your coworkers. Besides, if you’re having a good time at work with the people around you, you’ll think much less about going home or, worse, escaping.
It may not happen right away, but once you get settled in and get to know the people you’re working alongside for upwards of 40 hours a week, you’ll probably find that the office isn’t such a terrible place to be every day.