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The True Value Of Workplace Friendships

When it comes to work friends are we missing them? Or are they just too much effort – especially at the moment? Are we secretly wishing for those water cooler moments again when/if we all return to the ‘new normal’….and were they beneficial to us in anycase? Why is it we keep reminiscing and wishing we could enjoy rowdy meetings again? Why are the work WhatsApp Groups so meaningful at the moment?

The Tara Building Is Designed For Wellbeing At Work

At The Tara Building, Dublin’s premium coworking space in the city centre, the careful design of the architecture, layout and artwork provides a Building especially constructed to encourage thoughtfulness and to fire up the imagination of all those in our Community. The Refreshment Stations are set away from the Hot Desks and Meeting Spaces so Members can enjoy a  quiet chat and the provision of a Roof Terrace Garden offers a discrete space for longer conversations. The Private Facebook Members Group and Instagram Closed Friends Group offers members a shared spot to share Content meaningfully.

April Is ‘Stress Awareness Month’

Given that we spend a quarter of our adult lives at work – now is the time to reflect on our workplaces. Also, April is ‘Stress Awareness Month’ and the pressure of ‘remote working’ in these challenging times can make it even harder for those of us who are struggling. More than ever, one of the key issues that triggers stress at work is professional loneliness. A recent survey, commissioned by Milkround found that Millennials in particular are struggling with mental health more than any other generation – with social isolation a real issue. As more of our social interactions outside of work are being driven by Social Media and Messaging, the importance of forming meaningful relationships with work colleagues has never been more important.

In the Milkround Survey, 73% of respondents said it was very important to have workplace friends. This younger cohort of workers places the greatest value on this with 79% of Millennial Employees (aged 18-24 years) believing its important to have friends at work, compared to 64% of those aged 55 years and over.

So why do we count on friends at work?

In the Survey, 47% said that the main value of workplace friendships is the practical and emotional support they provide when overcoming challenges at work. We find that they improve our overall wellbeing and we are happier as a result. In-fact the younger cohort said that the benefit to their mental health was one of the main values of spending time with work friends at 46%, compared to 23% of the respondents aged 55 years and older.

So what’s stopping us being friends with our fellow coworkers?

Apparently according to the survey, the younger cohort (66%) found it harder to make friends at work due to social anxiety – much of it caused by work related stress. The older cohort are less susceptible to these issues than the younger cohort. The Survey reports that (45%) of younger people have called in sick at work due to anxiety about the social culture at work and one in three have resigned.

Now is the time to review and change how to work to make yourself happy. Only 6% of the respondents to the Survey had ever spoken to their Manager or sought HR support.

According to Emma Kelly, Psychologist and TV presenter, here are her tips for overcoming social anxiety (good to know so those suffering can be ready to put them into practice when things return to the ‘new normal’):

  1. Face your fear. Try remembering some ice-breaker questions to get the small talk going
  2. Adopt a relaxed body posture – remember up to 93% of communication is non-verbal (according to Dr Mehrabian)
  3. Communicate your concerns to your HR Manager of Manager if experiencing social loneliness – look for a solution

So it could be said that workplace friendships encourage us to feel less stressed making us happier and healthier. And more productive. As we hopefully ease out of lockdown 3.0 soon, we look forward to many more returning to The Tara Building.

For those contemplating a new workplace for their wellbeing, we invite you take a LIVE Virtual Tour or Enquire today and hear more about our friendly hospitality and supportive Community. For more information on becoming a member of The Tara Building, coworking space, please email hello@thetarabuilding.com.