Work colleagues are not your friends…er I don’t think so

In today’s fast-paced work environments, it’s unfortunately common to hear the sentiment that your ‘work colleagues are not your friends’. This notion can feel disheartening, especially considering how much time we spend with our co-workers. However, it’s essential to challenge this perception and emphasise the importance of fostering meaningful relationships within your team.

At its core, a successful business thrives on collaboration, trust, and mutual support among its members. While it’s true that not every colleague will become a close friend, there’s immense value in cultivating a sense of camaraderie and solidarity within the workplace. This goes beyond mere professionalism; it’s about creating a supportive community where individuals can truly thrive.

Bringing back the concept of family within a business is about nurturing a culture of inclusivity, empathy, and genuine care for one another. Just as in a family, team members should feel valued, respected, and supported through both their triumphs and their setbacks. Celebrating successes together creates a sense of unity and accomplishment, while supporting each other through challenges builds resilience and strengthens bonds.

Work colleagues all dressed in black at Kraken rum event being friendly.
Work colleagues all dressed in green puffers at SSE Arena event being friendly.
Work colleagues all dressed in white overcoats at cartoon network event being friendly.

In a truly supportive work environment, team members are not just colleagues; they’re allies who uplift each other, share knowledge, and lend a helping hand when needed. This sense of belonging and connection not only enhances employee satisfaction and morale but also leads to increased productivity and creativity.

Acknowledging and accepting the vulnerabilities, struggles and the aspirations of what makes us human instils a deeper sense of trust and understanding among team members. When people feel safe to be themselves and to express their thoughts and feelings openly, it encourages a culture of authenticity and mutual respect.

Challenging the idea that ‘work colleagues are not your friends’ is about recognising the impact these working relationships have on their own mental well-being and the success of the company. By prioritising empathy, support, and a genuine connection within your team, you not only create a more fulfilling work experience but you also lay the foundation for long-term growth and well-being

A few words from Jonathan, an Angel for many years:

As a member of the team at HEL’s who has worked as a Team Leader or Event Manager, I find that having an understanding of those in your team from a deeper level than just ‘work colleagues’ is vital.

Some of the closest friendships I’m lucky to be a part of have started as work colleague relationships. It’s those friendships when working on a campaign that make doing the job worthwhile.

You look at your team and think “ok, today is going to be a good day because look at who I’m with”.

They provide support when life outside of work gets tricky but more amazingly, it makes the job so much more worthwhile because you have an understanding of one another. That trust and reliability propels the job to a higher level and makes any problem solving a piece of cake.

My Dad worked in the city as a broker for 30+ years and I vividly remember asking him when we were watching the news on 9\11 – “Bet you’d feel lucky that you weren’t at work that day eh”.

His response – “No son, I’d feel guilty about not being there with my mates”.

It made me look at his working life and working life in general in a whole new way. They weren’t just random people that filled his 9-5, they were his friends and closest council.

Whenever I spoke with his work colleagues on the day of his retirement party they always said how comforting it was knowing they could trust in and talk to my Dad, not just as a great broker but a brilliant friend.

Do we all dream of working all day long, every day for the remainder of our lives?

No, of course not.

We all dream of beaches, fulfilling long driven ambitions and cementing our own understanding of our place on this planet.

So let’s be open and share a little piece of ourselves with those who we spend so much of our time with. They’re our biggest fans that carry us towards our truest selves and that feeling is rewardingly mutual.

You never know, those people might just want to be a part of our own dreams and journeys.

As the famous saying goes – “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”.

Three work colleagues at an experiential film premier of The Greatest Showman
work colleagues with back pack drinks dispensers
work colleagues dressed in blue tee shirts at an Amazon job


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