Most employers would accept that a happy workforce equates to a productive workforce, but new research by Jobs.ie suggests many employers are overlooking the value of workplace friendships to their business.
According to a sample size of 2,770 employees, 55% of workers say workplace friendships positively impacts on their productivity. Additionally, 79% of workers would like to see their employers do more to proactively encourage workplace friendships and stronger connections between colleagues.
Seventy four percent said it improves their general mood and 55% said it positively impacts productivity. Thirty one percent said it improves their general opinion of their employer and 12% said it has an influence on how long they stay with the company.
The survey shows that 51% of employees only socialise with colleagues on special occasions, such as Christmas parties, leaving drinks or retirement drinks. Nine percent socialise with colleagues at least once a week and a further 15% socialise with colleagues at least once a month. Twelve percent only socialise with colleagues five times or less per year, while 13% claim to never socialise with colleagues.
According to General Manager of Jobs.ie, Christopher Paye said, "Strong workplace connections equal greater productivity, less tension, a more collaborative working culture, and greater staff retention. The latter has taken on renewed importance in recent years given the current competition for talent."
He added, "Despite the multitude of very self-apparent benefits, our research suggests that many employers are failing to invest in proactively facilitating workplace socialising or to meet the expectations of their employees looking to develop closer bonds with colleagues."