NIOZ

YOU NEED A FRIEND AT WORK

FRIENDSHIP IN THE WORKPLACE WILL MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER

The best single predictor for higher wellbeing and engagement at work is not what people are doing - but who they are with. Friendships have enormous implications in the workplace, several recent studies claim. At the Royal NIOZ you will find bonding comes natural.

The non-territorial office, telecommuting, hot-desking even. Progressive organizations realize how technology may enable not just work-related tasks, but also help workers stay personally connected. At the Royal NIOZ we believe a job is more satisfying when it provides opportunities to interact, socialize and form true friendships. It is our conviction friendships at work improve decision making while adding to feelings of wellbeing and productivity.

HIGHER QUALITY WELLBEING

Gallop studies support that notion. Their research reveals that people who have a best friend at work are seven times as likely to be engaged in their jobs. They are better at engaging customers, produce higher quality work, have higher wellbeing, and are less likely to get injured on the job. In sharp contrast, those without a best friend in the workplace have just a 1 in 12 chance of being engaged.

LESS FRIENDS AT WORK IN THE U.S.

Changes? Sure, at least in the situation in the U.S. and Great Britain. In a recent article in the Guardian journalist Oliver Burkeman quotes the American psychologist Adam Grant, professor of management and psychology at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, on the topic ‘friendship at work’.

Grant is convinced Americans go to work to be efficient, not to form bonds. ‘The guy at the desk next to yours might be gone in two months.’ Grant believes transience, together with telecommuting and extreme busy-ness are a poison to friendship. ‘Why bother asking him to a pub?’ 

To explain the evolution of friendship at work Grant also uses an analysis claiming that, between the 1980s and 2000s, the proportion of Americans who said they had a good work friend slid from half to less than a third.

‘We’re social creatures outside work, yet the office interaction norm tends to be polite but impersonal,’ Grant says. Data from the British company Relate prove a similar situation in Great Britain: 42% of the British do not establish a serious friendship at work.

ROYAL NIOZ IS SOCIAL

Friends or just colleagues at the Royal NIOZ? It is of course a culture thing. With a mobile or tablet at hand, friendships outside the workplace move right in. In the office you plug into the Cloud and strut your stuff. Besides… ‘science’ is a lonely career. Or is it? 

The Royal NIOZ will surely claim otherwise. With more than 25 nationalities working at our facilities we have always invested in creating a sense of community, call it friendships. We have sport teams, initiate group excursions and organize dinners.

Our research groups take good care of PhD’s and postdocs from the moment you arrive. Added to the small geographical size of Texel and Yerseke and the fact you will probably live together with colleagues you may certainly expect new friendships to blossom here.

The remarkably high number of relationships, marriages and babies are perfect illustrations: at the Royal NIOZ friendship at work is part of life.