Workmates? No thanks

May 31 2004 by Brian Amble Print This Article

Socialising with workmates appears to be going out of fashion as a new survey suggests that we are increasingly unlikely to spend out-of-hours time with colleagues or make friends in the workplace.

A survey of 500 industrial and commercial workers carried out for recruitment outfit Pertemps has found that around half of workers in the UK only go for a drink with colleagues once a year at most, with many saying that family commitments, tiredness and a general dislike of workmates meant that they would rather go home.

One in six claim that they have never socialised with colleagues. A similar number said that they had no real friends among their colleagues, while more than half said they had no more than two friends in the workplace.

Almost a third had no particular reason why they didn’t socialise more, although one in ten said that they simply didn’t like their co-workers.

Many found their colleagues boring or embarrassing, while 15 per cent said they were sick of being flirted with.

"There is no doubt that increased pressures on workers has meant that there is less time to build close social ties with colleagues,” said Pertemps’ Janet McGlaughlin

“It seems that the term workmate is increasingly out of date. This is a shame, and a particular worry for managers, as workplace friendships build morale and encourage retention

“Ultimately, work should be fun, and enjoying the company of your workmates is a major help.”