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The End of Work Spouses and Office Besties

A lot of things about work that we long took for granted have changed for good, as we settle into our remote and hybrid reality. While many of us are happy for the reduction in long commutes, sad desk lunches, and uncomfortable “business casual” clothes, there are some things we’ll miss.

There is also the importance of office friendships. Having a close relationship with people you work with not only increases your job satisfaction and loyalty, but productivity, as well. And creating and maintaining those relationships is a driving reason so many bosses claimed to want employees back in the office.

But after years of being away from the office, those relationships have eroded or disappeared. The Wall Street Journal reported the percentage of hybrid workers who claimed to have a best friend at work fell from 22% to 17% between 2019 and 2022, perhaps finally signaling the end of the “work spouse” era. While we miss out on having someone to confide in or commiserate with, more people are realizing a difficult truth: Work was never your family.

Companies, when trying to force “fun” activities on their employees as a way to entice them back to work, are seeing that many would rather spend time with their actual friends and families. If the end goal for both bosses and employees has always been a happier, more productive, more engaged workforce, then maybe it’s time we let employees prioritize a healthy disconnection from the office.

Possible Preaching Angles:

Family; Friendship; Church Involvement – This is a good reminder that our first responsibility, and true lasting relationships, are found with our “real families” at home and at church.

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