This American Life

Thank You for Being My Friend. . . At Work

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Man waving at co-workers
Man greeting co-workers (Edwin Tan via Getty Images)

In life, friends come in many buckets: school friends, teammates, neighbors. And then there is the work friend: the co-worker who understands how you spend eight hours of your day, the person who you seek out for coffee breaks to commiserate and who shares the workplace lingo. Work friends often remain just friends at work, but sometimes you start hanging out away from work and introduce them to your other friends and family. The importance of the work friend cannot be underestimated: a recent survey found that 70% of workers cited having friends at work as a critical component of a satisfying work place, and workers who report having a work friend are more likely to stay with their company. We’ll talk about friendships at work, the thrill of making your first work friend, and how to form work friendships in this pandemic-inflected world.

Guests:

Julie Beck, senior editor, The Atlantic - Beck has written extensively about friendships as part of The Atlantic's "Friendship Files." Her most recent piece is titled "The Six Forces That Fuel Friendship"

Emma Goldberg, reporter, New York Times - Goldberg covers the future of work for the New York Times. She wrote the article "The Magic of Your First Work Friends"

Dr. Marisa Franco, psychologist and friendship expert; author, her forthcoming book is titled "Platonic: How the Science of Attachment Can Help you Make -- and Keep -- Friends"

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