Work Friends Make Us More Productive (Except When They Stress Us Out)

Since almost the beginning of management research, we’ve known that social dynamics affect workplace performance. Indeed, one of the pivotal questions of Gallup’s famous employee engagement survey asks whether respondents “have a best friend at work.” But while friendship at work always being a good thing is a strong assumption, recent research suggests that having a close friend in the workplace might be more nuanced than we assume. There are definitely benefits, but there are also costs.

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