A vast portion of our days are spent at work, and whether we like it or not, that includes spending time with our coworkers.
On average, respondents have five work friends on hand, but some industries have more work friendships blossoming than others.
Olivet Nazarene University set out to see how 3,000 Americans in 21 different industries classify their workplace relationships. It turns out the vast majority of workplace friendships, never leave the office. While 82-percent of respondents answered that they considered someone they worked with a friend, 71% said they wouldn’t consider any of their colleagues a “best friend.” On average, respondents have five work friends on hand, but some industries have more work friendships blossoming than others. Transportation has the highest average number of work “friends” than any other industry, followed by finance/banking, accounting, marketing, and manufacturing. On the opposite end of the spectrum, those in legal professions, real estate, skilled labor, restaurants, and retail have the smallest average number of friends at work.
The size of someone’s office also impacts the number of friends they have. Those who work in small office environments with fewer than 10 employees have an average of three friends, which is a friendship rate of 33%. Those who work in companies with more than 50 to 100 people report an average office friendship rate between two and five-percent.
Olivet Nazarene University’s study revealed that the majority of people are satisfied with the number of work friends they have, but 20-percent wished they had more. Employees who are over 40 years old were the largest group to say they want more work friends than they currently have. Those working in media, real estate, legal professions, manufacturing and government were most likely to say they wished they had more friends at work.
Whether it’s watercooler talk or someone to chat with on office messenger, Olivet Nazarene University wanted to find out what exactly people talk to their coworkers about. More than half said they discuss their love life (58%) and health issues (53%), while the majority (64%) say they discuss conflicts with other coworkers.
When it comes to maintaining those friendships after people leave their jobs, 82% said they barely stayed in touch with or stayed in touch with their coworkers, only “a little.
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