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Workplace Friendships: Good for Morale, Bad for Productivity

office friendships

According to a recent survey, a happy office is dependent on a workforce’s friendships within the workplace. With only 45% of Americans satisfied in their jobs, over half of the people polled said that chumminess between the cubicles means better teamwork, communication, and morale. On the subject of productivity, however, less than a third of the respondents thought that it increased productivity and performance.

The study, conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of staffing firm Randstad, also dealt with the (sometimes) sticky issue of social media amongst colleagues: 46% of respondents thought that Facebook friendships were appropriate, while just 24% opted for LinkedIn.

Unsurprisingly, it is the fairer sex who were more into the idea of friendships over the photocopier compared to their male counterparts, and saw their relationships with work colleagues as something that would spill over into their free time more than men did. Managers, however, were less into the idea of their subordinates becoming BFFs, as just 49% of them encouraging the development of friendship within the workforce.

The downsides of a company working, eating and (perhaps in some cases) sleeping together, according to the respondents, were the obvious ones. Themes that came up were gossip (44%) favoritism and the blurring of professional boundaries (37%), and conflicts of interest (35%), as well as making others feel uncomfortable, reduced productivity, openness, and company loyalty.

[Via BusinessWire]

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