Co-Worker Friends May Boost Productivity

Professionals typically spend more waking hours with their co-workers than anyone else, so friendships are bound to blossom.

In a recent survey from staffing firm Accountemps, 62% of employees said having co-workers that are friends outside of the office positively affects productivity. But only 39% of CFOs think the same, and 44% said work friendships have no effect on productivity.

Ten percent of employees said having co-workers that are friends outside of the office negatively affects productivity, while 16% of CFOs said the same.

A separate survey from Robert Half, the parent company of Accountemps, found that professionals who feel they have good friends at work are 1.6 times more likely to be happy at work than those who don’t.

“You don’t need to be best friends, but having an office buddy can do a lot of good for your career,” says Michael Steinitz, executive director for Accountemps. “Employees with strong work relationships are happier and have a built-in support system and sounding board when they need it.”

The surveys were developed by Accountemps and conducted by independent research firms. They include responses from more than 1,000 U.S. workers ages 18 and older who work in an office environment, and more than 2,200 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in more than 20 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas.