The Mixed Blessing of Workplace Friendships

Posted on October 2, 2015

Recent findings show that employees who report having friends at work benefit from higher levels of productivity, retention, and job satisfaction. Furthermore, having many friends at work is also positively correlated with supervisor ratings and job performance. With more emotional and professional resources to back them up, employees with many friends are more likely to succeed at work.

However, could there be a rebound effect?

By having friendships with co-workers, one has to balance between two roles - a friend and a colleague. As these two roles often have competing expectations, norms, and goals, multiplex workplace friendships may be especially depleting because they foster conflict regarding which role to prioritize. This could be emotionally depleting and pushes one to expend their resources to maintain and restore balance with those to whom they feel obligated.

ā€œCollectively, our results illustrate that having a large number of multiplex friendships at work is a mixed blessing,ā€ Methot and colleagues conclude in Personnel Psychology.

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Category(s):Friendships, Workplace Issues

Source material from Psychological Science


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