Impact Of Workplace Friendship On Productivity & Job Satisfaction

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An organisation is nothing but people, who spend most of their time there. At a workplace, it becomes very essential for people to maintain productivity, as well as be satisfied with the job they are required to do everyday. When there are people, there are relationships built, especially with the team members at work. This makes workplace friendships come into existence, which directly & indirectly, creates an impact on the organisation. Friendships at work are typically seen as being beneficial. they’re expected to bring people closer, create a feel-good environment and make it fun to come back to figure. But friendships also can create complexities and tensions for those inside and out of doors in the circle.

Many people spend the bulk of their time during the workday with their co-workers, and there could also be situations when the everyday eight-hour workdays end with an office hour, dinner, or other social engagement with co -workers outside of the office, because of the nice deal of time co-workers spend together, approximately 50 hours every week, friendships start to emerge through their shared experiences, and their desire for a built-in network.

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There are two types of friendships:

  • Blended Friendships – Develop in the workplace and can have a positive impact on an employee’s productivity.
  • Multiplex Friendships – Having friendships both inside and outside of the workplace.

Accordingly, friendships between/among employees are often formed at work. Findings of prior studies have suggested that workplace friendship includes a type of positive functions for both individuals and organizations. Workplace friendship facilitates increased communication, respect, securities, and trust among employees. These rewarding benefits have meaningful implications for the employees’ job-related outcomes. Thus, this study will examine the direct effect of workplace friendship on employees’ attitude towards their job and its direct and indirect effect on organizational citizenship behavior, turnover intention, absenteeism, and task performance.

Having friendships in the workplace not just improves efficiency, but can also encourage creativity and decision-making within the organization, for overall productivity and happiness. This increases job satisfaction as well as commitment to the organisation.

It can be difficult to maintain friendships in the workplace. Friendships at the workplace could be confusing, especially between employees and their bosses, or senior-junior employees. However you cut it, it will still take charge. If 2 people are great friends outside the workplace, they will probably not fare well in their friendship inside the workplace, due to many reasons, especially with a hierarchical structure to the organisation. When a person thinks his or her friendship with another co-worker is becoming negative, that individual may start avoiding the person. This makes it harder for the individual to maintain their friendship, which causes tension in the overall work environment.

If a personal feels that a co-worker is pulling him far away from the friendship, that individual may use openness to try to keep up that friendship by confronting the opposite person and discussing why the connection is deteriorating. Openness could be a great tactic in some situations, but not all told. Parties using contradicting communication styles, pre-existing hostile work environment and significant status differences are situations during which openness wouldn’t be a good relational maintenance tactic.

Literature Review

Article 1) Exploring Workplace Friendships in Business: Cultural Variations of Employee Behaviour

Name of Author: Carolyn Dickie.

The teams and their inherent friendship networks are a growing and increasingly important architectural dimension of local, national and international business organizations. There are such team-based organizational arrangements like cross-functional, self-managed and semi-autonomous work groups that lead to workplace friendship that help to create a systematic and well informed business related decision making that can lead to better customer service and product quality. In this paper a data was collected from five different countries which included 359 respondents and it reports an exploration of the construct of workplace friendship. After the data was collected, in the results it was observed that the scale was multi-faceted and which was in terms of communication, time, informality and context. Also, the study results indicate that the Workplace Friendship Scale is reliable and may be used confidently in multicultural research to judge HRM variable related frameworks. The findings of the study indicate that the employees consider the working environment supportive and healthy when there is workplace friendship in the organization. If there is workplace friendship then teamwork is possible and will automatically have a significant impact on organisational stability and productivity. Therefore, the following implications for HRM policy and practice are likely to be profound.

Keywords: – Exploring, workplace, Cultural variation, Employee behaviour.

Conclusion: – This paper has examined the use of the Workplace Friendship Scale developed by Nielsen and colleagues (2000) in a unit cultural environment and examined the outcomes in light of the Morrison (2006) Western culturally focused findings in an exploratory study in a broader cross-cultural setting. The results indicate that there is a great difference between the underlying factors when the Workplace friendship Scale is applied in a broader cross-cultural setting, the scale can be used with confidence in this environment.

Article 2) Workplace Friendship and Employees’ Productivity: LMX Theory and the Case of the Seoul City Government

Name of Author: Seok-Hui Song.

Workplace friendship is visualized as creating a friendship or some kind of bond or understanding between the superior and subordinates and this study evaluates at what level does workplace friendship impact employee productivity. The findings indicate that workplace friendship can lead employees to own positive work attitudes, but the standard of friendship contains a stronger influence on positive work attitudes by employees than friendship opportunity. Apparently, the findings support the LMX theory which stands for Leader-Member Exchange which states that workplace friendship is important as it helps to increase the performance and positive work attitudes of the employees. The findings also state that encouraging friendships among employees may benefit the organization.

Keywords: LMX theory, Workplace friendship, Positive work attitudes.

Conclusion: The findings imply that organizations may take pleasure in encouraging friendships among employees. Workplace friendship can lead employees to own positive work attitudes, but the standard of friendship contains a stronger influence on positive work attitudes by employees than friendship opportunity.

Article 3) The Effects of Workplace Friendship on Job Involvement

Name of Authors: Can Biçer, Ozan Büyükyılmaz.

The main aim of this study is to investigate the assumed direct relationships between workplace friendship and job involvement. A sample data was collected from Karabuk University School of Foreign Languages via survey method which consisted of 63 employees working there. A statistical method was conducted to test the concept. The results show that friendship opportunity and friendship prevalence were positively related to job involvement and friendship, friendship is very important and help a person to be more involved in the job that is being done and so prevalence has a bigger effect on job involvement than friendship opportunity. Workplace friendship and job involvement have some or the other relationship between them and this study will help investigate it. Also, there are some theoretical and applied implications which are discussed.

Keywords: Friendship Opportunity, Friendship Prevalence, Job Involvement.

Conclusion: The result of this study states that workplace friendship is important and it also confirms that workplace friendships influence individual and organizational outcomes. The findings of this study also showed that the effect of friendship prevalence on job involvement is greater than the effect of friendship opportunity. For employees to identify themselves with their job is considered a major step. The study also shows that while the friendship opportunity is an important predictor of job involvement, spending more time between employees can help in building trusts among them which plays a major role for employees to identify themselves with their job. Therefore, there should be trust among the employees for a better outcome.

Article 4) The Quality of Friendships at Work and Job Satisfaction

Name of Authors: Winstead, Barbara & Derlega, Valerian & Montgomery, Melinda & Pilkington, Constance. (1995).

The Quality of Friendships at Work and Job Satisfaction. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships – The study examines the relationship between quality of a friendship at work and job satisfaction. Faculty and staff at two universities completed measures of the qualities of their best friendship at work and of job satisfaction. Multiple regressions for faculty and staff and for subjects whose best friend was a peer, supervisor or subordinate revealed that the quality of one’s best friendship in the workplace is predictive of job satisfaction. A negative aspect of friendship, maintenance difficulty, was related to lower satisfaction for staff (but not faculty) and for workers whose best friend at work was a peer or supervisor. Wishing to spend free time with a best friend at work (voluntary interdependence) and an exchange orientation toward the friend were also negatively related to aspects of job satisfaction. The relationships between feelings about one’s best friend at work and feelings about one’s job are discussed.

Keyword: Friendship at work, Job satisfaction.

Conclusion: It shows the negative sign as friendship, maintenance difficulty, was related to lower satisfaction for staff (but not faculty) and for workers whose best friend at work was a peer or supervisor.

Article 5) Maintaining Workplace Friendships: Perceived Politeness and Predictors of Maintenance Tactic Choice

Name of Authors: Sias, Patricia & Gallagher, Erin & Kopaneva, Irina & Pedersen, Hannah. (2012)

Workplace friendships are linked to many important processes and outcomes such as employee satisfaction, career development, creativity, and decision-making influence (Sias, 2009). Research has examined how workplace peer friendships develop and deteriorate, but largely ignored their maintenance. The studies reported here addressed this void. Study 1 identified communicative tactics individuals use to maintain friendships with peer co-workers. Study 2 assessed the perceived politeness/positive face threat of the tactics. Study 3 examined the extent to which perceived politeness, task interdependence and individual attachment style predict the likelihood an individual will use specific maintenance tactics.

Keywords:workplace relationships, friendships, workplace relationship maintenance, politeness, task interdependence, attachment style.

Conclusion: Research has addressed how and why peer workplace friendships develop (Sias And Cahill, 1998) and deteriorate (Sias et al., 2004), but ignored their maintenance. Outstudies, therefore, address an important void in the literature. Participants in Study 1identified four primary tactics employees use to maintain peer friendships at a desired state in escalating situations—avoidance, indirect conversational refocus, direct conversational refocus, and openness—and four primary maintenance tactics relevant to deteriorating situations—creating closeness, circumspective, deception, and openness. All these tactics involve, in part, the speaker attempting to communicatively manage the boundary between the personal and work spheres. Such a focus is particularly relevant to the maintenance of workplace friendships because of friend-ship’s personalistic focus; that is, friends’ recognition and treatment of one another as “whole persons” not just work role occupants.

Employees concerned that their friend-ship with a coworker is growing too close to communicate in ways that strengthen the personal/work boundary.

Those concerned that their friendship with a co-worker is deteriorating communicate in ways that weaken or transcend the personal/work boundary.

Article 6) Interpersonal relationships at work

Name of Authors : Tara Reich, Sandy Hershcovis.

Interpersonal relationships in the workplace are an inescapable reality for all those working in organizations. While they have often been studied from a negative perspective, for many these relationships may facilitate a context in which working individuals can fulfil their “need to belong” (Baumeister & Leary, 1995). The current chapter reviews literature in the area of positive interpersonal relationships in the workplace. We take a multi-level approach, examining the area from organizational, group, and dyadic perspectives, and focus both on the outcomes and the predictors of positive working relationships. We also review some common methodologies used in this type of research before concluding with some implications for science and practice as well as suggestions for future research. Reich, Tara & Hershcovis, Sandy. (2011). Interpersonal relationships.

Keywords: Interpersonal relationships, Organizational belonging, Social networks; friendship, Mentoring, Workplace romance.

Conclusion: A focus on positive relationships in the workplace may not appear to be a revolutionary notion; however, as mentioned previously, the vast majority of research in the area of workplace relationships have focused on negative relationships and their predictors and outcomes. As psychologists, we often “learn about the normal by studying the abnormal” (Wortman, Loftus, Weaver, & Atkinson, 2000, p. 30); that is, we focus on when things go wrong, with the implicit assumption that an absence of “wrong” is “right”. However, from the perspective of the current chapter, a paucity of negative interpersonal relationships is not the equivalent of an abundance of positive relationships. Therefore, in order to achieve the benefits outlined in this chapter, a focus on the development of positive interpersonal relationships in the workplace is essential.


  1. Dickie, C. 2009. Exploring Workplace Friendships in Business: Cultural Variations of Employee Behaviour. Research and Practice in Human Resource Management 17 (1)
  2. Song, Seok-Hwi. 2006. Workplace Friendship and Employees’ Productivity: LMX Theory and the Case of the Seoul City Government. International Review of Public Administration, 11(1)
  3. Biçer, C and Büyükyılmaz, O. 2016. The Effects of Workplace Friendship on Job Involvement. The Online Journal of Science and Technology.
  4. W.Barbara, V.Derlega, M.Melinda, P.Constance.May 1995.The Quality Of Friendship at Work and Job Satisfaction.Journal of Social and Personal Relationship 12(2).
  5. S.Patrica, G.Erin, K.Irina, P.Hannah. April 2012. Maintaining workplace friendship: Preceived Politeness and Predictors Of Maintenance Tactic Choice. Communication research. 39(2)
  6. R.Tara, H.Sandy.January 2011. Interpersonal Relationship At Work.Handbook of Industrial And Organisational Psychology (Vol3)


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