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    43% say becoming buddies with management helps get promotions

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    Over two in every five office workers believe making friends with the management helps them get promoted at work, but over a quarter struggle to make any friends in the office.

    That’s according to research conducted by B2B furniture ecommerce site Furniture At Work, asked 2,000 UK office workers about how they deal with friendships and social events in the workplace. 

    43% of Brits said that cosying up to management was a way of climbing the ladder faster. This was a particularly strong feeling among younger generations, as over half of millennials (52%) agreed, along with 48% of Gen Z workers. This compared to just 30% of Baby Boomers. 

    The survey also revealed some of the difficulties people have in making friends at work. 26% of people said they struggle to make friends in their office, and 23% said their social anxieties were stopping them from socialising with colleagues. Almost 3 in 10 (29%) also said they don’t have the time or right environment to maintain friendships at work.

    Whilst 43% of employees socialise with colleagues at least every month, 57% admit to doing so no more than once every three months. In fact, two-thirds (66%) admitted to doing something in order to avoid a workplace social occasion. 

    Common examples of what workers have done to avoid socialising include the 39% who said they have pretended to have other plans, with another 17% saying they had deliberately made other plans. Others have taken more drastic action, with 14% saying they’d faked an illness, while 1 in 10 (10%) have either taken a sick day off work or faked a family emergency

    Despite some taking steps to avoid socialising, over three-quarters (76%) of the UK workforce have close friends at work, and more than a third (36%) said they work with their best friend. More than a third (38%) say they would stay in a job they otherwise didn’t like based on the strength of their office friendships.   

    Bob Robinson, Product Marketing Manager at Furniture At Work, said: “It’s clear that some of the UK workforce seek career-boosting benefits when they look to get in the good books of their bosses, including attempting to become “BFFs”.

    “Despite how widespread friendships are in the office and this feeling, sometimes we just can’t be bothered with that after work drink. In true British style, we’ll do anything to avoid telling the truth and avoid upsetting anyone, fabricating everything from illness to family emergencies to avoid socialising!”  

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    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien