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Your Work Friends Are Faking it

But it's OK to like them anyway.


You’ve probably had one of these moments: You’re at happy-hour karaoke with coworkers, and you and Serena from Accounts Payable are absolutely nailing “Gangsta’s Paradise.” As Serena improvises a sweet harmony over your interpretation of Coolio’s rap lyrics, something special starts to happen. The two of you are graduating from “work friends” to real friends.

Or are you? On this week’s Game Plan podcast, Francesca and Becca talk about the complicated dance of work friendships. Research suggests we’re more inclined to undercut our colleagues than the people in our personal lives, and a big factor in what makes us feel close to work buddies is their sheer physical proximity. So are we all conniving frenemies on the job, or can we actually form meaningful bonds? Guest Jessica Methot, an expert on workplace relationships at Rutgers University, discusses the value of even surface-level work connections, and drops some surprising science about which coworkers exhaust us the most (hint: it’s not our enemies).

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