Are Friendships the Key to Workplace Happiness?

friends-at-workEditor’s note: This is a guest post from Eileen Habelow, senior vice president of organizational development for Randstad.

A recently published Conference Board study found that only 45 percent of Americans are satisfied with their jobs.  While the causes of dissatisfaction may be many, it doesn’t seem to be rooted in the person we sit across from in cubicleland.  In fact, a new Randstad Work Watch survey reveals that American workers seem to be happier at their jobs because of the friendships they cultivate with coworkers – 67 percent reported having friends at work makes their job more fun and enjoyable and 55 percent feel that these relationships make their job more worthwhile and satisfying.

But not all workplace friendships seem to be created equal as the survey also found that people characterize their professional relationships in a variety of ways, from personal friends with whom they interact inside and outside of work (38 percent) to friendships limited to the workplace and workplace functions (32 percent) to even friendships cultivated out of sheer necessity or convenience for work purposes or alliances (17 percent).
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