I remember when I first started my full-time job.

I was a graduate at a Fortune 500 company and was paired with others in a similar boat, fresh out of university and keen to learn what it was like taking on a full-time job. What made my experience enjoyable was the opportunities I had to make close work friends, and ever since I left the company, I still keep in touch with many of them.

“Our research has repeatedly shown a concrete link between having a best friend at work and the amount of effort employees expend in their job.

For example, women who strongly agree they have a best friend at work are more than twice as likely to be engaged (63%) compared with the women who say otherwise (29%).” — Statistic from Gallup

After all, you spend one-third of your life working, so why not spend it with the people you enjoy the most. With COVID-19, however, meeting others has increasingly been challenging, especially if you’re working at an office job.

With many remote working or stuck at home, we are increasingly forced to be online. Because of this, it’s never been so important to have a virtual best friend that you can lean on.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at why it's meaningful to have a virtual work bestie.

It helps promote open collaboration and communication

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Source: https://www.trendhunter.com/trends/having-friends-at-work

When working alone, it’s often hard to open up to others.

After all, it’s always easier to work alongside people that you’re more familiar with and you can be more transparent with. Sometimes that extra piece of feedback could mean the difference from good to amazing work.

Did you know that 86% of employees and executives cite that the lack of collaboration or ineffective communication opens up more workplace failures?

We all know how vital communication and collaboration are, but it has been shown that having best friends at work has a direct link with improved engagement and communication at work.

This is because you have someone you can bounce ideas off, even if they aren’t in your direct team. This is especially useful if you can do so virtually as you can do it anywhere remotely.

Helps to have an ear to talk to especially being stuck at home

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Source: https://www.trendhunter.com/trends/having-friends-at-work

Sometimes you need to grab a coffee with a work colleague and just have a talk about work. Pre-COVID19, this was simple to do, but with many companies working remotely still, this has become a luxury.

This is why having a virtual work best friend is so important.

For me personally, I have done Zoom calls with them and even a virtual coffee catch-up. Of course, you can do this with friends, but there are only some things that a work friend would know (especially related to the company you’re working at!).

Even though it’s all virtual, I’ve found it super helpful and have gotten great advice even if I am just ranting about something.

It’s someone you’ll be friends with even beyond work

Having a work best friend is different.

Even if you love your job, having people you also care about around you naturally creates extra value to your work since you want to perform better.

Most importantly, it creates a valuable connection for you even if you leave the company. This could be helpful later down the road when new opportunities arise. LinkedIn reported that over half of employees keep in touch with their former co-workers, leading to future employment opportunities.

Most importantly it makes you happy

When you have someone you’re close with at work, apart from all the reasons just listed, we are just genuinely happy to be around them, making working a lot easier.

Being able to stay happy will contribute to any success, especially with how you radiate to others, and a virtual work best friend will do precisely that.

We spend a tremendous amount of time dealing with both the joys and stresses of working.

The beauty of virtual is that even if they do leave, you’re still able to catch up over calls and keep in touch.