Study Finds People Prefer Working With Friends Over More Money

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What’s the key to a happy working life?

Here’s a hint: It’s not your salary.

Job search website Jobsite recently conducted a survey of 1,000 workers in the United Kingdom and found that for 70% of the participants, having work friends is the most important part of being happy on the job.

A majority of workers would turn down a raise if it meant that they could continue working with friends. On top of that, women–more so than men–said that they preferred having friends at work to having more money. 46% of men said that they would choose a higher-paying job even if it meant not getting along with co-workers, compared to 26% of women.

(But if you are looking for happiness from your salary, here’s the amount you’d need to make and how you can negotiate for it.)

There’s more proof that money can’t buy you happiness. A recent experiment from UC Berkeley revealed that college students are more concerned with how much their peers respect them than how much money they make.

Cameron Anderson, the lead researcher of the experiment, explains the findings. “One of the reasons why money doesn’t buy you happiness is that people quickly adapt to the new level of income or wealth. Lottery winners, for example, are initially happy but then return to their original level of happiness quickly,” he said. “It’s possibly that being respected, having influence and being socially integrated just never gets old.” (On the other hand, underindulgence can bring you more happiness.)

Having work friends isn’t the only thing that affects workplace happiness (taking these three steps could probably help). Research scientist Ben Waber found that little adjustments, like larger lunch tables, can boost office morale and productivity by 25%.

So tell us: What makes your job bearable … or even awesome?

  • MrsERP

    I believe that having friends at work matters. My husband has been with his first ever employer for about 5 years now. He hasn’t thought about leaving the company because he enjoys the warmth of the people so much. He loves going to work. Contrary to his experience, I have never been able to hold a job for more than a year. I found it harder to meet like minded people and ended up leaving the workplace after sometime. Now, I’ve turned my back from money and chose to build a start-up instead.