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These are the most common sensitive topics employees discuss with friends at work

New research from Olivet Nazarene University shows that “conflict with coworker(s) is the most common “sensitive” topic that employees can talk about with a friend at work, at 64%.

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

Tough things people can talk about with a friend at work

Here’s how respondents weighed in:

  • “Conflict(s) with coworkers:” 64%
  • “Love life:” 58%
  • “Health issues:” 53%
  • “Financial issues:” 33%

Here’s how often employees say they spend time with office friends “outside of work” over the course of “a typical month:”

  • “A couple times per month:” 41%
  • “Once per month:” 26%
  • “Weekly:” 20%
  • “Less than once per month:” 18%

Respondents also answered questions about the same topic:

  • “Do you spend time with work friends outside of work?” 62% “Yes,” 38% “No”
  • “Have your work friends met your non-work friends?” 53% “Yes,” 47% “No”
  • “Have your work friends met your significant other?” 69% “Yes,” 31% “No”

The nature of work friendships

People also answered more questions about their friendships, with just 10% saying that they’ve quit a position “because a friend left,” and 90% saying they haven’t.

But while 68% surveyed say they talk to work companions about their salary, 32% claim that they don’t.  A few industry categories with employees who are the “most likely to” talk about their money with others are Marketing, Advertising, PR and Restaurant, Food, Beverage. Conversely, a few categories with employees who are “least likely to” talk about the cash are Media and Nonprofit, Social Services.

Additionally, it seems like people have no problem with trying to get their friends to work in the same place they do, with 59% saying that they have “recruited” one to do so before. Forty-one percent said that they have not.

In terms of how much people have “stayed in touch with work friends” they don’t work alongside anymore, 55% said they have “stayed in touch a little,” 27% said that they “barely stay in touch,” and a slim 18% say that they “stay closely in touch.”

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