Making Friends at Work Takes Time
How much time does it take to make a friend? University of Kansas Associate Professor of Communications Jeffery Hall has the answer.
To get this answer, Hall conducted a study where he looked at the friendships of adults who had recently moved and of new college students. Both groups were asked a series of questions over time about the friendships they were making in their new towns.
The study found it takes 50 hours for two people to go from acquaintances to casual friends, 90 hours to become real friends and 200 hours of time spent together to become close or even “best” friends. It’s not just time spent together, the study also found that how you spend that time together matters too.
Thinking about colleagues and co-workers, spending 200 hours together is easy. But that doesn’t mean they fall into the close friend category. You should spend time together, hanging out, joking around or participating in common interests. Hall said that hours spent simply working together don’t count as much. You must get outside the workplace.
Making friends at work is essential for personal happiness and for the company too. Author and Psychologist Ron Friedman told Business Insider that friendships among employees can lead to increased work productivity. Leaders and managers should try to create a friendly environment for co-workers. Suggest monthly lunches, happy hours outside of work or other group activities.
“If you are interested in a friendship, switch up the context. If you work together, go to lunch or out for a drink. These things signal to people that you are interested in being friends with them,” says Hall.