Why Work Friends Are the Best Friends

The way you approach your job could have a huge impact on your overall happiness and well-being. As Harper's Bazaar points out, there are two different kinds of people in the office: those who treat work as a means to an end, keep their head down, and socialize out of hours and those who recognize that they spend a great deal of time with colleagues and see value in building relationships.

If you fall into the latter group, research suggests you could have a surprising advantage over your less social colleagues. Aside from having someone to grab a coffee with and share shipping costs, studies have found that forming close bonds with co-workers improves your happiness, health, and performance in the workplace. Need an excuse to take a coffee break with your work wife? Consider these three science-backed benefits:

Can you put a price on a great friendship? According to economists, you can. The Atlantic reports that having a close friend you see most days has the same impact on your happiness as receiving a $100,000 raise. In a separate study, 57% of employees said work buddies make them happier.

Counting a colleague as a friend doesn't just benefit your happiness and well-being. It could also inspire you to work harder. More than 25% of workers say discussing success with colleagues helps motivate them.

A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that groups of friends outperform strangers at tasks that require decision-making, collaborative thinking, and motor skills. Why? Researchers infer it could be because they are more committed, communicate better, and are able to give honest feedback.

On the other hand, research in the Academy of Management Journal found that employee loneliness leads to trouble focusing and weak contributions in the workplace.