Engineers are hired based on technical competencies and engineering background. Rarely do employers factor the social skills, because it barely matters to companies how friendly or sociable the engineers are. But this should matter to you as an employee.
You spend at least 8 hours of work in a day. More often than not, this involves collaborating with other people in the office, site, or laboratory, because engineering jobs are not done alone.
With this kind of setup, you are bound to mingle and talk to them regularly. What other way can you make every work day a happy day than make friends with the people around?
Having to gain friends at work not only lightens the workload, it allows you to enjoy your work. Despite having a bad start of the day, a co-engineer could change that by simply engaging in a sensible conversation that changes your mood. Any friend at work could act as a support system like what you have at home with your family.
It’s also about feeling involved. If the entire room is already friends with each other and you are aloof at one corner, it makes you feel out of place. Having a friend or a group of friendly faces helps in your sense of belongingness, which later translates to a great environment for communication.
The absence of friends at work is proven to suck your motivation for your job. Meanwhile, the presence of friends spikes up your productivity and increases your employee satisfaction to no bounds.
Source: Destiny Migrations
Because you think and feel that you are working with people who care about you, you subconsciously have more concern about your work. That is developed when you see that your friends share with you the same passion.
But it could be unhealthy too when you are friends with the toxic ones at work. So an advice: choose your work friends wisely.
Your ultimate gain here for having friends at work is that you develop your communication and social skills. While some companies do not measure that upon applying for a job, it certainly helps you with the dynamics of work relationships.