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The old adage of never mixing business and pleasure may be smart for some, but there are plenty of perks that come from working with friends. Whether you take a position where a friend is already employed, or you get close with co-workers over time and form bonds, these relationships can improve your work life tremendously.

Good friends (and good jobs) are hard to come by, so if you can kill two birds with one stone (so to speak), you are one of the lucky ones. As long as you keep things professional and know your boundaries, having a buddy in business is a blessing. Here are some reasons why.

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You'll Be More Productive

While some may think working with friends would cause people to goof off more readily, the opposite is true.

According to Coca-Cola Company, "Having a work bestie is one of the strongest predictors of productivity (as per a Gallup poll). Friendships lead to a level of engagement that differentiate highly productive workgroups from mediocre workgroups. There's much less wasted energy and interpersonal obstacles."

Friends want to see friends find success and doing it together is even more meaningful and motivating.

Your Job Satisfaction Will Increase

Finding a satisfactory work-life balance can be tough, so when you get to see people you care about all day long, you'll be happier all around.

As Cuallet puts it, "It is good to feel excitement about going to work, as you want to share a story or experience with your friend, this can make your work seem simpler or less boring, and can help each other in the tasks to be done in their workday."

Coca-Cola Company adds, "We will often put up with a less than desirable job role if we love the people we work with and will want out of a 'dream job' if we don't feel like the people we work with support or accept us."

Additionally, as per Executive Lifestyle, "(Friends) can help each other deal with the inevitable workplace ups and downs in a more measured and positive way."

You'll Have More Trust

If you can't trust your friends, who can you rely on? Working with people who have your best interest at heart makes you feel more secure and stable, allowing you to focus on the big picture.

According to Executive Lifestyle, "Having a genuine friend in the workplace makes individuals more engaged with the job, more productive and more willing to push the envelope, because they know someone has their back. It makes us feel safer to take risks and is really important for boosting confidence and when you're confident that can lead to all sorts of positive work outcomes."

Instant Teamwork

The practice of teamwork is important in nearly any workplace environment, but it can take time to develop that bond and flow. When friends are already part of the picture, teamwork is already built-in.

As Cuallet notes, "Having a friend or group of friends will help you feel part of the team, talk about your problems and successes, foster a positive environment, benefit you individually as well as the company, creating a network of happy employees."

As per Coca-Cola Company, a university study found that, "Friendships outperformed acquaintances on all tasks because they were committed to communicating better while working and gave continuous feedback. Plus, they gave more critical feedback."

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Friendships are workplace-friendly indeed. Pal-up and see progress!

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Over two years into the most momentous event in our lives the world has changed forever … Some of us have PTSD from being locked up at home, some are living like everything’s going to end tomorrow, and the rest of us are merely trying to get by. When the pandemic hit we entered a perpetual state of vulnerability, but now we’re supposed to return to normal and just get on with our lives.

What does that mean? Packed bars, concerts, and grocery shopping without a mask feel totally strange. We got used to having more rules over our everyday life, considering if we really had to go out or keeping Zooming from our living rooms in threadbare pajama bottoms.

The work-from-home culture changed it all. Initially, companies were skeptical about letting employees work remotely, automatically assuming work output would fall and so would the quality. To the contrary, since March of 2020 productivity has risen by 47%, which says it all. Employees can work from home and still deliver results.

There are a number of reasons why everyone loves the work from home culture. We gained hours weekly that were wasted on public transport, people saved a ton of money, and could work from anywhere in the world. Then there were the obvious reasons like wearing sweats or loungewear all week long and having your pets close by. Come on, whose cat hasn’t done a tap dance on your keyboard in the middle of that All Hands Call!

Working from home grants the freedom to decorate your ‘office’ any way you want. But then people needed a change of environment. Companies began requesting their employees' RTO, thus generating the Hybrid Work Model — a blend of in-person and virtual work arrangements. Prior to 2020, about 20% of employees worked from home, but in the midst of the pandemic, it exploded to around 70%.

Although the number of people working from home increased and people enjoyed their flexibility, politicians started calling for a harder RTW policy. President Joe Biden urges us with, “It’s time for Americans to get back to work and fill our great downtowns again.”

While Boris Johnson said, “Mother Nature does not like working from home.'' It wasn’t surprising that politicians wanted people back at their desks due to the financial impact of working from the office. According to a report in the BBC, US workers spent between $2,000 - $5,000 each year on transport to work before the pandemic.

That’s where the problem lies. The majority of us stopped planning for public transport, takeaway coffee, and fresh work-appropriate outfits. We must reconsider these things now, and our wallets are paying

the price. Gas costs are at an all-time high, making public transport increase their fees; food and clothes are all on a steep incline. A simple iced latte from Dunkin’ went from $3.70 to $3.99 (which doesn’t seem like much but 2-3 coffees a day with the extra flavors and shots add up to a lot), while sandwiches soared by 14% and salads by 11%.

This contributes to the pressure employees feel about heading into the office. Remote work may have begun as a safety measure, but it’s now a savings measure for employees around the world.

Bloomberg are offering its US staff a $75 daily commuting stipend that they can spend however they want. And other companies are doing the best they can. This still lends credence to ‘the great resignation.’ Initially starting with the retail, food service, and hospitality sectors which were hard hit during the pandemic, it has since spread to other industries. By September 2021, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 4.4 million resignations.

That’s where the most critical question lies…work from home, work from the office or stick to this new hybrid world culture?

Borris Johnson thinks, “We need to get back into the habit of getting into the office.” Because his experience of working from home “is you spend an awful lot of time making another cup of coffee and then, you know, getting up, walking very slowly to the fridge, hacking off a small piece of cheese, then walking very slowly back to your laptop and then forgetting what it was you’re doing.”

While New York City Mayor Eric Adams says you “can't stay home in your pajamas all day."

In the end, does it really matter where we work if efficiency and productivity are great? We’ve proven that companies can trust us to achieve the same results — or better! — and on time with this hybrid model. Employees can be more flexible, which boosts satisfaction, improves both productivity and retention, and improves diversity in the workplace because corporations can hire through the US and indeed all over the world.

We’ve seen companies make this work in many ways, through virtual lunches, breakout rooms, paint and prosecco parties, and — the most popular — trivia nights.

As much as we strive for normalcy, the last two years cannot simply be erased. So instead of wiping out this era, it's time to embrace the change and find the right world culture for you.

What would get you into the office? Free lunch? A gym membership? Permission to hang out with your dog? Some employers are trying just that.

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Did you hear about the Great Resignation? It isn’t over. Just over two years of pandemic living, many offices are finally returning to full-time or hybrid experiences. This is causing employees to totally reconsider their positions.

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