Work friendships taking a back seat for Americans

Millions of Americans have changed jobs or started working remotely, which is a significant reason why work friendships are harder to forge and becoming less of a priority, according to an Aug. 17 report from The Wall Street Journal.

Many workers say the COVID-19 pandemic, paired with a transition to hybrid or remote working conditions, has affected their ability and interest in finding and maintaining work friendships. Further, the youngest professionals who entered the workforce during the pandemic are already accustomed to remote or hybrid work and are less likely to pursue or form close friendships in the workplace, the report said. 

Among nearly 4,000 hybrid workers surveyed by Gallup in June, 17 percent said they had a "best friend" at work, a number down from 22 percent who responded similarly in 2019. 

Fifteen percent of people without a best friend at work reported being extremely satisfied with work this year, fewer than the 23 percent who said the same in 2019, according to Gallup. The data suggests the link between having a best friend at work and feeling committed to a job has increased over the past three years. This indicates that workers who do not have a work best friend are more likely to want to leave the company. 

A recent survey by Capterra, an online software marketplace, of nearly 1,000 U.S. employees found relationships with co-workers tied with recognition as the least important factor in job satisfaction among 14 options, with compensation and work-life balance ranked as the most important.

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