Good friends are good for business productivity

Being surrounded by friends might just be the ticket to a more productive day at the office, according to recent research performed by the California-based temp agency, Accountemps.

One hundred fifty senior executives from within the ranks of the Fortune 1000 as well as 519 full- or part-time workers were surveyed.

Sixty-three percent of employees and 57 percent of executives agreed that becoming friends with co-workers has a positive effect on productivity.

Survey respondents were asked, "In your opinion, when coworkers are friends outside the office, how does it affect productivity?"

Executives provided these results:

Very positively .... 2%
Somewhat positively .... 55%
No effect .... 28%
Somewhat negatively .... 13%
Very negatively .... 0%
Don’t know .... 2%

Employees provided these results:

Very positively .... 22%
Somewhat positively .... 41%
No effect .... 25%
Somewhat negatively .... 7%
Very negatively .... 1%
Don’t know .... 4%

Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of Motivating Employees for Dummies suggests that employers should encourage inter-office friendships by arranging team-building events and encouraging staff activities outside the office.

"Colleagues who are friends are more likely to support one another when presented with challenges or new responsibilities, enhancing workflow and team spirit," Messmer said. "Those who are able to form friendships early on the job are likely to acclimate quickly and stay on board for the long term."