In a review of 26 studies, researchers at the Ohio State University found those who teamed up with friends at work—whether on a project or a random task—performed better than those who worked with strangers, no matter their age group. (Take that, high school teachers everywhere who don’t let students work with their besties!)
“Working with friends is not just something that makes us feel good—it can actually produce better results.” —Robert Lount, organizational behavior expert
“Working with friends is not just something that makes us feel good—it can actually produce better results,” study co-author Robert Lount, PhD, an associate professor at Ohio State who teaches courses on organizational behavior, said in a press release.
So why are friends the ultimate teammates? Well, they just get you. And vice versa.
“Friends can coordinate tasks more effectively. They know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and can figure out how to break up the work in the most efficient way,” said lead study author Seunghoo Chung, a doctoral student at Ohio State. “When you’re working with friends, you tend to be in a better mood and can work through the adversity and strain that sometimes comes from having to produce a lot in a short time.”
While productive conflict resolution is super important for professional group projects, there is one tiny downfall to teaming up with your #workwife: If the task involves coming up with the best possible solution to a problem, working with with a stranger might be a better option because you’re more likely to constructively disagree instead of just going along with what your BFF says.
Still, work friendships have plenty of bonuses—and now there’s a bit of scientific proof to back up all the off-topic Slack chats you share throughout a given week.
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