A quarter (23%) of UK workers would consider leaving a company if their ‘work spouse’ (the person they are closest to in the office) was to leave, George Martinuinvestigates

summer

Two thirds (65%) of workers believe they have a so-called work spouse, with over half (56%) of employers encouraging these strong relationships between colleagues, as they improve productivity, research published by totaljobs has revealed.

67% of employees said they have access to a kitchen with a sitting area, which is crucial for encouraging employees to socialise with each other. Over two-fifths (42%) of respondents said that their employer organises monthly social events, with another 40% of the workforce enjoying quarterly socials with their colleagues.

Perhaps surprisingly, over three quarters (76%) of those surveyed said that they did not think it was appropriate for management to be friends with people more junior to them. This shows that employers have to be careful when organising social events, to ensure that workers are not alienated or put-off due to feeling uncomfortable.

Commenting upon the findings of the report, John Salt, Director at totaljobs, said: “It is certainly revealing that so many employees relate to having a ‘work spouse’ and someone they feel they can confide in above others. Our research shows employers recognise the value of strong work relationships, with many already offering social events.

“The key is to accept work spouse relationships and encourage broader team cohesion. The two do not need to be mutually exclusive: get the balance right, and employers will reap the benefits of a happier, more productive, team.”

The report also examined the impact that social media has had on relations in the workplace – four out of five (83%) workers saying that they will add colleagues who are at their level on Facebook. This is contrasted with less than a third (32%) of respondents saying they would add a colleague on LinkedIn.