Can You Make Virtual Office Friends at Work?

TORONTO—Making friends at work is very important to Canadians and could be a key factor to workplace happiness. So the question is, can you make friends from a virtual office?

According to the survey, 66 percent of Canadian employees say they have close friendships with colleagues. What’s more, 54 percent report that having pleasant colleagues is more important to them than having a good salary while 53 percent say they spend time with colleagues outside working hours. How does this apply to the virtual office workplace?

Stacy Parker, executive vice president of Marketing at Randstad Canada reinforces the fact that workers tend to be happier at their jobs when they cultivate meaningful friendships with co-workers.

"Canadians associate a good working environment with having good relationships with their colleagues,” she says. “They see these relationships not as a threat to their productivity, but rather as a key factor that influences their satisfaction at work.”

Of course, not everyone is looking for new friends, not even in a virtual office setting. Twenty-one percent of Canadian employees believe friendships with colleagues interfere with their work. That’s nearly a quarter of folks who, whether they work from a virtual office or not, prefer not to socialize.

So to answer the question, yes, you can make friends with coworkers even if you work from a virtual office. In fact, I’m living proof that you can make friends from a virtual office. I've worked from a virtual office for more than 20 years and have built many friendships over the years with coworkers who worked in other parts of the country from virtual offices or traditional offices of their own. One of my best friendships ever was developed through a virtual office relationship.

Of course, if you are among the minority who feel that friendships interfere with work, then you can certainly avoid them more easily through virtual office work.


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