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Organisations are composed of employees from varied backgrounds. It’s the people who run and make the companies alive. Full-time employees have to stay at work for their organisations for more than 7 to 8 hours on average weekly.

What makes them come to the office and enjoy this life? What makes them stay happy for years in their work life? Yes, the primary reasons could be the need to make a livelihood and independence. But that’s not all. A bond or closeness is like a feeling of comfort, of being attached to a group of colleagues all sharing the same thoughts which is also a key that keeps people active, which keep employees happy and rooted to their organisations. Now, does this bond lead only to the happy vibe for employees? Does it have any negative effects? Let’s find out:

Establishes belonging
People who have poor social skills, find a shelter in group. It is quite like buddies moving together in school life. Based on the comfort of sharing and similar thought processes, people form a group informally and with a daily habit of giving quality time to it, they become strongly bonded unconsciously. Suddenly the tea breaks, lunch time & prayer break become enjoyable in office.

Healthy competition
When people in a group enjoy their company they form certain norms, individual performance can increase trying to be better than other work colleagues. Due to being close friends, and apart from colleagues, a sense of healthy competition works among members. The sincere ones try to develop their own expertise with a target to be the best one in the group. This shows in their daily conversations. This is healthy, mild and friendly competition that works for all of the members.

Unaware of other colleagues
If working in group fosters happiness and fulfills the need of a friend in workplace, it has some other sides too. When people are too involved in their own groups or teams and spend too much free time with the members, naturally it makes a wall and hinders the communication with other members in the very same organisation. When people choose to talk and mix with people within their own comfort zone only and do not maintain a healthy contact with others, it makes them unaware about other people and the variety of existing talents in them.

Weakens morals of others when boss supports the groups
It brings huge disappointment among the ones who are not in any kind of groups apparently when the boss or the departmental head is also influenced by the group culture! When the group is seen to spend more time with the line manager or seen outside the office premise socialising, it affects the others who are in within any group because in most cases, boss become biased by this and credibility is lost.

Work takes a back seat
When people start to enjoy their own company in group rather than anything else, work take a backseat. Project work assigned, regular duties to be performed get low priority and spending time with fellow members of the teams becomes the high priority.

Inter & intra group conflict|
Belonging to a group is not always so easy for everyone. There has to be certain code of conduct to follow each time. When people tend to form groups and are too attached with their own group, there comes a feeling of neglect to other groups eventually it makes hostile relations in groups.  On the other hand, sometimes people even from the very same group get distanced resulting from uncomfortable arguments.

It is human nature to find a similar soulmates. Connecting with people is also stimulating for many of us. When people find a sense of ease and happiness in sharing with others, they tend to form a group or team. Workplace is no different. But this bonding is good so long as it does not affect or hamper the productivity or a good bond with others apart from the group. Having a friend or group of friends in the workplace is undoubtedly refreshing but primarily it has to be work and ethics at the fore front of the mind and should not be compromised for this bond.

Abu Md. Abdullah, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Business Administration in Eastern University in Dhaka.


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