WHEN WORK FRIENDS BECOME ‘FRIEND’ FRIENDS…
Long gone are the days of strictly professional working relationships it seems, with almost 8 in 10 (78%) employees in Ireland revealing that they consider their colleagues to be their friends. That’s according to new research, which shows that the office has become much more than just a working environment.
The Pursuit of Happiness
The research, which was carried out among 1,068 people in Ireland, found that 6 in 10 consider themselves to have a best friend at work, while 37% of those polled say they have a ‘work wife or husband’. Further to this, more than a quarter (27%) say that having the same sense of humour as a colleague has made them form a bond, followed by spending so much time together (17%).
Almost half of respondents (43%) say that the greatest benefit of having a network of office friends is that it makes work a happier place overall, followed by the support they feel by having someone to talk to in a stressful situation (28%). With just 3% saying that they believe work and friendships should be kept separate, it’s clear to see how much the Irish public value a great work pal.
Working 9 til’ 5…am
One4all has revealed that for many, it’s not enough to only see your office BFFs throughout the working day, with 45% of those surveyed saying that they socialise with their colleagues outside of work hours. Of those that do, 62% socialise with their work friends at least once a month, with a night out being the most likely setting (35%) closely followed by casual drinks (25%) and dinner (23%) after hours.
And what is the most popular conversation subject amongst work pals? Half of all respondents say that they are most likely to engage in general chit chat, with the subject of their personal life coming in second place for 16% as their choice topic of conversation, with 7% saying they are most likely to talk about other colleagues or their boss.
By contrast, 42% of people in Ireland err on the side of caution by purposefully avoiding a work colleague on social media. When it comes to boundaries however, the majority of those surveyed don’t seem to have a problem with mixing work with pleasure with more than 7 in 10 (73%) saying that their partners, family members and other friends have met their work friends.
Aoife Davey, group marketing manager, said:
“People in Ireland truly value their work friendships and it’s clear from the research results how much happiness having a network of friends at work can bring to your day. We can see how work friends transition to lifelong friends so remember to show them how much they mean to you whether that is with a smile, a sweet email or a small gift on a special occasion.”