Do you have friends at work?

Anyone you do anything with outside of work hours? Anyone you would associate with if you didn’t have to occupy the same space 40 hrs a week?

Whether you do or not, what business are you in? What is the work environment like? Where are you and your friend on the hierarchy?

Not me. I’ve worked in law firms and government offices for 30 years. I had one good friend I met at work who died back in 97. Other than that, I’m “friendly” with just about everyone at work, but not friends with any of them. I’ll chat amiably and superficially with folk for a couple of minutes, but basically I’m here to work. If no one ever exchanged anything other than polite pleasantries and necessary work information, I’d be fine.

I’m in a union. I’m a mechanic, it is low or maybe semi-skilled blue collar work. I am friends with many of the people I work with; I would hang out with them after work. There is not really much of a hierarchy where I work - at least to the extent their is, it is downplayed a lot.

Sort of… I have had them in the past, but at least in my industry, it’s somewhat rare for people to really form a lot of long-term work friendships, because the combination of rampant job-hopping and frequent layoffs makes a lot of people (myself included) kind of gun-shy about the whole thing.

Beyond that, for me at least, the main thing I may have in common with my work friends is work. We usually have some other things in common, or else they’d just be co-workers. But rarely do those things in common/common interests transcend that work commonality to the point where we keep up after we quit working together. Sometimes there’s a big age gap, or a geographic gap, or some other sort of gap. So when one or the other leaves the company, then that’s usually it for the friendship. We may keep up on Facebook or Linkedin, but that’s about it.

I’m in middle management at a large corporation. I work with some of my best friends, who I spend time with outside of work. In my department, a group of about 15 low/middle managers supervise about 300 people. Three people (two directors and a VP) are above us who we report directly to.

I did back in the retail days during my teens & 20’s, but not so much now that I work in Cubeville.

Back in the day my coworkers were like my family. We hung out beyond work and I genuinely loved those people. Went to the bars and partied together, knew each other’s personal lives, just like a TV sitcom. We’ve all grown apart and lost touch now.

Now I only have one best-friend-at-work and we’ve hung out beyond work a few times. I adore his wife (I’m female) and she thinks I’m cool. My husband thinks my work buddy is awesome. I’d love to spend more time with them both but we just don’t get the chance.

I have two coworkers I consider friends. We have an application on our network that allows us to send instant messages, and we IM each other when we get bored. With one coworker, I’ll eat lunch with her while we work crossword puzzles. We also walk home together. The other friend and I are working on a long-range project together, so we’re always in the other’s office, talking both shop and non-shop. The two of us have our ears tuned into different office grape vines, so we always compare notes about office politics and current events.

They are my only friends, so I treasure the time I spend with them. But I haven’t spent a lot of time with them outside of work.

I work in a competitive field on a team of go getters (mostly). I respect nearly everyone for their skills, but I have no desire to have personal relationships with them. There seems to be clicks here and there. I see them stab each other in the back enough that I’d be naive to think they weren’t doing it to me too. I’ve never been one to feel a need to have a lot of friends. I’ve always had one or two close friends, but now I focus my energy primarily on family. My wife and I have a few friends with family that we hang out with and invite over, but she puts most of the effort into those relationships and I have a good time when we all connect, but I never feel like I need to talk them outside of facebook here and there.

My one proper friend just left my company last Friday sad face.

I have made many long term friends over the years, although less as I have climbed the greasy pole. I’m in the design industry, stuffed with young people, so social lives connected with work is very common. These days, I’m one of the oldest (45) and most senior members of staff, so the youngsters all have strong friendships with each other, but I stand somewhat apart from them.

The rest of the senior management team aren’t really my kind of people.

However, some of my dearest friends outside of work are people I met through work in the past. My partner included.

I work in a fairly social office. I would say that I consider 5-6 of my co-workers to be friends. However, we don’t do a ton together outside of the office, because most of us have young children and that makes frequent socializing challenging.

I met my husband at work, does that count?

I don’t currently have any coworkers that I socialize with out of the office but I have many times in the past.

Right now my job is pretty demanding and I’ve got a hard time fitting in the people I already know and like so I think the reason I’m not making new “outside the office friends” has more to do with my receptiveness than to their suitability.

Basically it’s not them it’s me :wink:

No, nothing beyond acquaintances at work and that’s OK by me. I like the office banter, but don’t hang out with any cow-orkers outside the office.

I have good friends and acquaintances through my work. My wife and I socialize with many of my co-workers and their spouses, e.g. dinner out, parties at each others houses, travel and vacation, etc. But I also do those things with people that are not in my work circle.

And for many of our younger folks in my group at work, I have attended their destination weddings and in a couple of instances have actually officiated their weddings.

I see no need to segregate my work relationships from my social relationships, except where I choose to.

Do you like not having to work Sunday’s? How long have you been with Chick-fil-a?

I have friends at work. There are sixty of us who work on the same ward and probably about five or six of us get together a few times a year for lunch or dinner or a movie. I’m friendly with most of the others but don’t have a lot in common with many of them.

Because nurses work such unsocial hours, we’ve always tended to socialise together and making friends at the hospital is the way we usually end up having any sort of social life at all.

Teacher. All my friends are teachers. One or two I currently work with, more that I worked with at some time. Mostly, we talk about teaching, because we tend to find in genuinely interesting, and the district, because a large urban district is basically a small town and there’s lots of gossiping that needs doing.

I teach in a number of different places as the only foreign teacher. Most of the people at the schools are Taiwanese and don’t speak much English so I don’t know them very well.

I don’t make close friends at work because of the nature of my job. I’m the human resources manager at my location and I have learned over the years that it can be terribly painful to get close to someone you might eventually have to fire or lay off. I’m cordial to everyone, I have lunch with people quite often, always in groups, and I’ve stopped by for after-work drinks when it’s someone’s birthday and a group from work are going. But that’s as far as it goes.

I’ve got a couple things responsible for my approach.

First, I don’t have a ton of friends, and don’t really want any more. I’ve got some guys I golf and play cards with, and a couple of groups I play music with, but interactions with those folk are pretty much activity related. My wife and I have a couple of couples we have over to dinner every month or so. And we have drinks with our neighbors every week or 2. Most of the rest of our socializing is with family - and that is enough socializing for the two of us. I guess I really don’t care much about my co-workers’ personal lives, and don’t see any need to share mine with them.

But second, there are just too many things that can go wrong if you get too close to co-workers. What if something changes at work - you or they get a raise or a demotion? How does that affect the friendship? Or what if you run into some social conflict? You still have to see each other every day at work. Like I said, I’ll be friendly with co-workers, but am happy not to be friends.

I’ve had too many experiences where I thought I was pretty close with someone at work, and then I learned of something really significant that made me realize we really weren’t that close. For example, I remember when I learned one guy had adopted a kid. We spent so much time yakking about so much meaningless stuff. If he didn’t even tell me something that important was in the works, well, we could still be friendly, but we clearly weren’t intimate. And many other times, I thought someone was a friend, but when they or I left the workplace, neither of us made any effort to stay in touch, and I realized I did not miss them.

I make it a point to be cordial with my co-workers, but mostly I leave it at that.

However, at my last job (and this is the only reason I hesitated to leave it) I became good friends with the firm administrator (who was, technically, the boss of me). She and I remain good friends, and get together socially fairly often.

To be scrupulously fair, I am not a particularly social person and vastly prefer my social circle to be smaller rather than larger on the whole.

This. I’m 45, and many of my coworkers, especially the code-crunchers, are in their early to mid 20s. Lots of people right out of college who are book-smart but not yet industry-smart (they’ll get there, though). Very, very smart and motivated, but I feel like their mom sometimes.

ETA, people in my industry run into each other a lot as we job-hop, so having lots of contacts is good. A couple of them are friends, and we call on each other when we need a reference or help. But lots of people have kids, so it’s hard to get together very often.