The Mindful Leadership Blog

Just In! Boost Productivity with a Little Help from Your Friends

November 2nd, 2017



What’s hot?


A recent Ohio State meta-analysis* revealed that teams composed of friends performed better on tasks than groups of acquaintances or strangers.

So what?


According to Seunghoo Chung, a co-author of the study:

• Friends can coordinate tasks more effectively.
• Friends know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and can figure out how to break up the work in the most efficient way.
• Friends keep each other motivated when the goal is maximizing output.
• People tend to be in a better mood when working with friends and can work through the adversity and pain that comes from having to produce a lot in a short period of time.


What to do?


Whenever possible:

• Hire friends of team members.
• Set up a buddy system when on-boarding new hires. It facilitates the formation of friendships.
• Plan occasional (non-mandatory) team get togethers outside of work.
• Hold an occasional team building session.
• Get to know each of your team members. Express interest in their life outside of work – their families, hobbies, civic and social activities.

It is time to do away with the frivolous notion that you can’t be friends with people at work. Teams work better when you allow the whole person to be at work. They are more engaged and productivity soars!

*Study results appear online in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin and will be published in a future print edition.



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