Infographic: Are workplace friendships the key to employee engagement?

Companies spend more than $720 million a year to solve the mystery of making workers happy, but the solution might be something money can’t buy.

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It’s priceless to have someone with whom you can freely gripe, Skype and type, but companies count on their workers’ relationships, too. According to a Good & Co. infographic, workplace friendships have a profound effect on a company’s bottom line and productivity.

From an employer’s perspective, workers with a close friend at the office are seven times more likely to be fully engaged at work—and 39 percent say they’re more productive. Close work friendships also boost “employee satisfaction” by 50 percent. That’s a gateway to lower turnover, higher productivity and possibly even fewer people attempting to flush magazines down the toilet.

Isolation at work, accordingly, is detrimental. Lack of workplace friendships can negatively affect a person’s emotional state and hamper their performance. Where there is little repartee, esprit de corps, joie de vivre and good-natured giving of guff, you might well see collaboration, creativity and morale suffer. That’s bad for business.

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