Compelling case for office friends

This is a controversial work topic, but I want you to think about something.

The average person will work from the age of 25 to 65. They will work around 48 weeks each year and 37.5 hours each week. During that time the average person is likely to:

  • Spend 9,600 days at work
  • Work for around 1,800 hours each year
  • Spend 72,000 hours at work during that 40 years

That’s a lot of time at the office away from our families in an office building. And you know what’s missing? Friendship. Real community. We go to the office to be efficient, not to form bonds. We have plenty of productive conversations but fewer meaningful relationships. Just Google “coworkers are not your friends” and you’ll see 100s of articles on this topic by reputable sources.

And that makes me sad.

Americans are lonelier than ever. Data from the General Social Survey (GSS), the number of Americans who say they have no close friends has roughly tripled in recent decades. Have you ever considered that this “no friendship mentality” is a corporate crock intended to make us more productive? There is mounting research that demonstrates that friendships are better for our well being than quitting smoking and exercise.

Would job situation could be more enjoyable if you had a friend? Would love to hear pros and cons.


  • Sarah Johnston

    I’m a former corporate recruiter and industry “insider” who got tired of seeing talented high-achievers get passed over for opportunities because they did not have the right marketing documents or know how to position themselves in interviews. I have relocated multiple times across the country as a “trailing spouse” and have had to execute job searches in completely cold markets (where I literally knew no one!) I have been named a LinkedIn Top Voice in the career space in 2019, HR Weekly’s Top 100 Most Influential People in HR, named the owner of the “best resume writing firm for experienced executives” by Balance Careers and a “top follow” by JobScan in 2019 and 2020.

Sarah Johnston

Need focused coaching time?

Let’s get started