Becoming friends with your coworkers has a big impact on your well-being and theirs.
According to a study in Health Psychology, when people have a work environment where everyone gets along, they live longer than employees who work in an unsupportive one.
Researcher Arie Shirom, Ph.D. states that, “Your peers can lend a hand when you’re near the breaking point, helping you manage stress.” And of course, it’s not a one-way street. It’s important to pick up on coworkers who are having a bad day and return the favor.
What if coworkers keep to themselves, or aren’t supportive? You might suggest to the boss everyone take on a volunteer project, such as helping to build a house for Habitat Humanity. Working together in a new environment might bring people out of their work shells.
Other suggestions: have a company picnic complete with BBQ and an opportunity for coworkers to relax and shoot the breeze. Or start a company softball team. It’s a great way to cheer on coworkers and get exercise while having fun.
Encourage office mates to create a more healthy workplace–by “friending” people–in person.