September 6, 2015

I BLAME DUMB HR RULES AND THE ATMOSPHERE OF TERROR THEY CREATE: The Decline of Workplace Friendships. “In 1985, about half of Americans said they had a close friend at work; by 2004, this was true for only 30 percent. And in nationally representative surveys of American high school seniors, the proportion who said it was very important to find a job where they could make friends dropped from 54 percent in 1976, to 48 percent in 1991, to 41 percent in 2006. . . . Focusing our friendship efforts outside work isn’t the norm around the world. In surveys across three countries, Americans reported inviting 32 percent of their closest colleagues to their homes, compared with 66 percent in Poland and 71 percent in India. Americans have gone on vacation with 6 percent of their closest co-workers, versus 25 percent in Poland and 45 percent in India. It’s not that Americans are less concerned with relationships overall. We’re social creatures outside work, yet the office interaction norm tends to be polite but impersonal.”

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