London is one of the most dynamic and vibrant cities in the world, but even the most die-hard lovers of the Smoke can feel the effects of urban overload. The fact of the matter is that all of us need a holiday sometimes.

Taking a week or two to get away from work can be hugely beneficial. Goodbye commute! Hello expansive hotel breakfast! Hooray – sunshine! Cold beer? Don’t mind if I do! A holiday break, even one that uses up more energy than your average working day can do a great deal for your health, happiness and wellbeing.

So of course – holidays are good, we all know that. But what if there was a way to get even more out of them?

Holiday time and days off are precious, so it’s important to make considered choices before booking your time off. Keep that in mind when you ask yourself the following question: “If a bunch of my co-workers asked me to join them on a skiing holiday, would I go?”

Hold off answering that for the moment. To get to grips with why holidays with co-workers are a good thing, we first have to ask ourselves how, on a basic human level, friendship factors in the equation.

Research carried out in the 1990’s showed that work-based friendships increased productivity. One study in particular, conducted by the universities of Pennsylvania and Minnesota, found that groups made up of close friends outperformed groups made up of mere ‘acquaintances’. The friends had the upper hand, since their group communication skills had already been perfected and they didn’t shy away from positive feedback or constructive criticism.

Simply put, friends are more honest with each other. Individuals become more motivated and competitive when they’re working with their friends. It’s a psychological desire, deep-rooted in our subconscious, to ensure we and our tribe succeed.

Studies such as this that suggest that workplace friendships aren’t just an added bonus – they can actually affect your happiness and enjoyment of your day to day work, not to mention the quality of the work you produce.

Friendship bonds made during highs and lows stand a greater chance of standing the test of time

So back to your fictional skiing holiday. Could this kind of experience strengthen your core friendship? Shared experiences, especially those that involve an element of danger and thrill, bond human beings together. When you adventure with other people, whether you’re skiing in Lapland, trekking Machu Picchu or diving the Great Barrier Reef, you’re forced to expose your deeper personality traits. Challenges, triumphs and commiserations are shared, and bonds made during highs and lows stand a greater chance of standing the test of time.

Businesses can help you both plan and finance holidays such as these. John Lewis, for example, offer employees the chance to apply for funding to part-finance trips away with other ‘partners’ of the company. They understand that the benefits of turning colleagues into friends are proven to be well worth it.

So how would you feel about exchanging the office desk for a week in the mountains? Would you consider being the one to ask a colleague to join you on an adventure? Tell us what’s stopping you…

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