After working in close proximity with one another for 40 hours a week, workers inevitably created close bonds. But as companies continue operating remotely, those work friendships may become harder to maintain.
“A lot of my work … is sending out emails, writing up docs, and there’s nothing glamorous or particularly exciting about these individual tasks that make up my day,” said one Bay Area tech marketer. “What makes it a lot more enjoyable is being able to hang out with people … as I’m firing off these emails.”
In a 2018 survey from Olivet Nazarene University, 82% of respondents said they had at least one work friend and 30% said they had a work best friend. Additionally, research from Gallup has found that having a close work friend correlates with fulfillment, productivity and job loyalty. But working from home can lead to feelings of isolation, which has been found to hinder productivity.
Now, those close work friends are turning to FaceTime and other similar communication tools, but with increased responsibilities from both work and home life, it has become harder for many to stay connected.
According to social psychologist Evelyn R. Carter, maintaining long-distance, remote friendships is dependent upon both parties to make an extra effort to communicate since quick watercooler chats could be a thing of the past.