Even in small and midsized businesses, it can feel difficult to get to know the people you work with. You may be a tight-knit team in your own department, but the folks over in accounting might as well be at a different company. Smart businesses like Toronto-based FreshBooks are starting to take notice of this and have found an unconventional, albeit effective solution: setting their employees up on blind dates.
(Photo Credit: Daria Shevtsova/Stocksnap.io)
No, they aren’t trying to get their employees to date each other. It’s a system of picking and choosing different employees from departments that normally wouldn’t interact to go grab coffee or lunch and learn about each other. While it may not seem like a useful tool beyond morale, the benefits are several-fold. Here are just a few of the reasons you should consider setting yourself up on a blind work-date as soon as possible.
Friends Make You Happier
It seems that humans were programmed for relationships. An article from The Atlantic revealed that having friends that you see on a near daily basis gives you the same motivation as receiving a $100,000 salary increase. The fact of the matter is that the people you’re most likely to see on a daily or semi-weekly basis are your co-workers. So if befriending a co-worker can be such a valuable connection, it would seem that getting your coffee comped might be the more realistic goal than a $100K bump.
Friends Make You More Engaged
Harvard Business Review reported that having a best friend at work will make you seven times more engaged than if you didn’t. It isn’t just a matter of happiness, either: HBR explained that that camaraderie creates a mutual sense of purpose, which can help you to be more motivated in accomplishing those work goals, and that sense of unified mission makes you more loyal and dedicated to the company’s goals.
Friends Make You More Creative
Sometimes, it’s hard to get outside of your own team’s little bubble. As the Wall Street Journal reported, companies have begun to force cross-collaboration by switching employees’ desk locations every few months.
If you’re constantly working with the same people who do the same job as you, you’re going to be very stuck in your own department’s singular mission and mentality. When you’re meeting different people doing different jobs, it can help you to think more fully about your company’s mission and purpose.
Tell Us What You Think
Is this all a bunch of millennial, open-office mumbo-jumbo? Do you work best cooped up in your own office and no light? We really do want to hear what you think! Tell us in the comments below, or by joining the conversation on Twitter.