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Office workers say regular socials are crucial for strong peer relationships

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Over half of office workers say regular socials are crucial for strong peer relationships, survey reveals.

More than half (54%) of the UK office workers say that work socials are crucial for building strong work relationships with colleagues, a new survey reveals.

Just Eat for Business asked the nation’s employees about how often they have socials, what they enjoy most about them, and how this impacts their working life.

The survey also found that nearly 2 in 5 (39%) office workers would like their companies to organise more regular office parties or socials this year.

Robin Dunbar, Psychologist at the University of Oxford, explains the importance of creating a bonded community through organised activities, such as work socials.

Let’s keep work socials in the calendars

More than half (54%) of the nation’s office workers say that socials are crucial for building strong peer relationships and fostering a positive work environment, a new survey reveals.

Just Eat for Business asked office workers about how often their organisation holds work socials, what aspects they enjoy the most and least about these events, and how crucial they are to fostering productivity and a sense of belonging in the workplace.

For the majority of employees, work socials are crucial for helping them communicate with their colleagues, as they may otherwise struggle to break the ice before asking for support or collaborating with a peer during the working week – particularly if working remotely.

For a majority (46%) of UK’s office workers, the main reason they enjoy work socials is the opportunity to socialise with their colleagues in a non-professional setting.

Meanwhile, 37% of workers most enjoy the downtime from work, and being able to relax and have fun when it comes to office parties and work socials, whilst 37% enjoy the free food and drinks provided, and a quarter like finishing the working day earlier.

It’s no surprise then that 39% of those surveyed wish that their organisation scheduled more work socials – such as a team-building excursion, after-work drinks or a catered lunch.

Are there any downsides to office socials?

However, for more than a quarter (27%) of workers, office parties are not a time for team building activities as this can restrict socialisation. Other aspects that were less favourable were the obligation to attend (27%), commuting late (23%) and office politics (22%).

Robin Dunbar, Psychologist at the University of Oxford, comments on the survey findings: ““This whole process of creating a bonded community depends on engagement in various social activities – such as eating together – and that just creates a sense of belonging.

“Regular work socialisation has huge knock-on consequences for your physical and mental well-being, by virtue of forming friendships and fostering a sense of company loyalty.”

Matt Ephgrave, Managing Director at Just Eat for Business, weighs in: “It’s no secret that work socials are a great way for colleagues to build connections and break the ice, but it’s possible that employers don’t realise just how crucial they are for fostering a friendly work environment.

“Improving company culture has been a key focal point for many over the last two years, and providing regular opportunities to socialise – such as a catered-for lunch or after-work dinner – is an easy way to promote socialisation in a positive and professional context.”

Other findings from the survey included that the majority of organisations only hold two team events a year, with the Christmas Party being the most common reason for doing so.

Full survey results 

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