Three-quarters of a century in duration, a Harvard study says if we want to live longer, we should have one priority: developing good personal relationships. The researcher states:
"The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period."
While most of the conclusions from the study outline why we should spend less time at work and more time nurturing our connections with family and friends, many fail to see the importance this research has on our jobs.
You Spend 8+ Hours At Work (That's A Lot Of Opportunity To Impact Your Health)
Choosing a company where we have the greatest chance of developing and maintaining healthy coworker relationships is one way we can follow through on the advice from this study. But, even if you make the right decision and find a good company with a great corporate culture, it's still up to YOU to build the type of office relationships that are good for your health.
3 Tips For Nurturing Healthy Office Relationships
If we look closely at the recommendations from this study and adapt them to the workplace, there are three key things each of us can do to foster good working relationships.
1) Be present. Fully engaging yourself in conversations with coworkers will enable you to listen more carefully. Put away your phone, shut down your laptop and just focus on what they are saying. Offering your full attention is a sign of respect and is a good way to earn their trust.
2) Become a better communicator. Understanding different personalities (with the help of quizzes) and how to interact with them is vital to building strong office relationships. Especially, in times of stress (i.e. tight deadlines), or conflict (i.e.differences of opinion on how to execute a task.) The more you are able to understand and adapt to varying office personalities, the better.
3) Invest in getting to know what coworkers care about. Each coworker is a partner. To have a win-win partnership, it helps to know what drives your coworker. Learning more about their hobbies, passions, and interests will enable you to find ways to connect beyond the work you do together. Ultimately, deepening the relationship and increasing the satisfaction you derive from helping each other on the job.
P.S. This Is Also A Smart Way To Fortify Your Career
In addition to being a proven way to live a happier, healthier life, following the three tips above also happens to be how you build a solid professional network. Given that every job is temporary, this is a smart way to ensure you have members in your network that are willing to help you if needed. The stronger your relationship with coworkers, the more likely they are to refer you to job opportunities in the future, Or, act as character references. Which means, focusing on relationships is good for your career health too!