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Office Life

Survey: This is the average amount of friends people have in the office

Recent data from Olivet Nazarene University shows that the average amount of friends employees have in the office is five. But while just 29% would consider them “best friends” of theirs, a whopping 71% would not.

Overall, 82% of people surveyed would classify someone they work with as “a friend,” just 18% do not.

The school polled 3,000 Americans working in full-time positions for the study.

How people feel about their friendships

While 76% feel like they have a “good amount” of friends, 20% think the amount they have is “not enough,” 4% say they have “too many.”

Respondents weighed in on how much time they “talk with or message work friends” on topics that have nothing to do with work. Thirty percent said “a few minutes or less,” 30% said “less than 30 minutes,” 22% said “30-60 minutes,” and 18% said “more than an hour.”

Americans also classified the people they work alongside in the office: 41% just called them “coworkers,” 22% called them “strangers,” 20% called them “only-at-work-friends,” 15% called them “real friends,” and 2% actually called them “enemies.”

While the research found that those who are 40 and up “say they want more work friends than they have,” people in these fields are likely to say that they also want more: Media, Legal, Real Estate, Government and Manufacturing, Distribution.

A few of the industries with people who make friends the quickest are: Insurance and Marketing, Advertising, PR. A few with people who make them the slowest are Engineering and Healthcare.

Here’s a breakdown of how long it takes for people to befriend someone they work with:

  • “Within weeks:” 30%
  • “6 months or more:” 27%
  • “After a couple months:” 22%
  • “Within days:” 21%

How many friends people have on average, by field

People in these industries have an average of 5 or more friends:

  • Transportation: 10
  • Finance, Banking: 8
  • Accounting: 8
  • Marketing, Advertising, PR: 7
  • Manufacturing, Distribution: 6
  • HR, Recruiting: 5
  • IT, Computer Science: 5
  • Engineering: 5
  • Healthcare: 5
  • Tourism, Hospitality: 5
  • Media: 5

Here’s how many friends people have on average, in terms of where they are on the corporate ladder:

  • “Entry-Level:” 5
  • “Mid-Level:” 6
  • “Senior-Level:” 7

Here are the friend averages, in terms of where people do their work:

  • “Home Office:” 3
  • “Retail Location:” 4
  • “Small Room with a Few People:” 4
  • “Private Office:” 5
  • “Cubicle Office:” 6
  • “Open Plan Floor Desk:” 6
  • “Variety of Locations (e.g. Sales):” 7

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