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Finding friends at work – it all started with an evening brunch

A group of smiling young women celebrating together.

“I think we first started chatting at an after work event,” Jenni Heikkilä and Sina Westerberg say, recalling how they met.

Westerberg is a Financial Controller who started work at MuniFin in 2014 alongside her studies, while Heikkilä, who works with the Apollo tool for financing portfolio management and economic planning, had come to the company a couple of years earlier.

The women share not only the workplace, but also a close group of friends who have bonded and become friends at work. It all started with a shared evening brunch a few years ago.

“We were having breakfast in the evening, because everybody wanted waffles,” Heikkilä says.

Every now and then, this group of seven women get together on a weekday morning to enjoy a slightly better breakfast, which is why the group goes by the name Fancy Breakfast Club. The club members all work in different departments and in various positions at MuniFin.

“Breakfasts are our thing, a way to keep in touch with each other even when we don’t have time to meet otherwise. After breakfast, we head to work together. If we don’t have time for a long breakfast, we pop over for a morning coffee somewhere nearby,” says Westerberg.

It all started with breakfast, but the club members have also travelled in various configurations and taken part in each other’s special celebrations.

“One of the members of the group got married recently and, of course, we were invited to the wedding. Now we are waiting for an invitation to the christening,” Westerberg grins.

The workplace supports friendships

Heikkilä and Westerberg feel that the workplace, its atmosphere and encouraging environment have an impact on friendships being born.

“We have a really nice bunch of people here. It’s a lovely work community, and we have a lot of fun together. If I’m in a bad mood when I arrive at work, I find myself cheering up as the day progresses,” Westerberg says.

“The atmosphere here is welcoming, you can be yourself here,” Heikkilä continues.

MuniFin has grown a great deal in recent years, and a lot of new people have joined the company. Its activities and services have also evolved at a fast pace; for example, the Apollo service didn’t exist when Heikkilä came to the house.

As an employer, MuniFin encourages people to get to know their colleagues also outside of working hours and offers an excellent framework for this.

“Our staff club Kursiseura organises various activities related to sports and physical activity, culture and various other activities where the threshold for joining in is low. At these events, it’s easy to get acquainted with colleagues you don’t often have a chance to talk to otherwise.”

Westerberg and Heikkilä explain that there are other groups of friends at MuniFin too who spend time together and go, for example, skiing. What does a joint workplace actually bring to a friendship? According to Heikkilä and Westerberg, the shared workplace is nothing but a bonus.

“You see each other much more than you would otherwise. Sometimes you’re busy and may not see your other friends for months,” Westerberg ponders.

“You don’t lose track of what’s going on in a friend’s life,” Heikkilä continues.

One of the FTC members has recently changed jobs, but remains closely involved in the group. The two women feel that having friends in the workplace is important for job satisfaction.

“It’s difficult to imagine there being such a close group of friends anywhere else. If I was offered a job somewhere else, I’d have to ask them if they have jobs for my friends too,” Heikkilä laughs.