Working from Home & Co-worker Relationships

(No) Drunk Drama: Over half of employees say their coworking relationships have improved since WFH, reveals poll.
• Over 1 in 3 employees have found the lack of after work drinks during the pandemic to be positive for co-working relationships.
• Half say there are times when colleagues or friends don’t pay for their fair share of rounds.
• 42% have found work gossip and office politics have decreased since working from home during the pandemic.
• 1 in 5 employees have personally witnessed an argument during after work drinks.
• Illustrative Infographic included.

Since working from home over the last year, office parties after landing a big deal, or even after-work beers with colleagues after a long day simply haven’t happened. If you’ve ever had one too many drinks at a work event, you may have started to feel like you’re in a scene from the movie Office Christmas Party! Although most real-life office parties don’t feature Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey or Jason Bateman, there’s always one or two colleagues who go overboard on the drinking, which can lead to its fair share of drunken drama. Since these office occasions have been scarce since the pandemic, has there been a corresponding decrease in this drama?

DesertHopeTreatment.com, a leading provider of addiction treatment in Las Vegas, Nevada, conducted a survey of 3,000 employees across the country and found that more than half (57%) of respondents who have been working from home during the pandemic say their relationships with colleagues have improved since this transition. Interestingly, more than 1 in 3 (37%) say that the lack of after-work drinks over the past year has been a positive contribution to better relationships.

When these figures were broken down across states, employees in South Carolina appear to have gotten the friendliest with each other over the past year or so of working from home, with 80% saying their coworking relationships have improved during this time. Comparatively, those in Idaho and South Dakota seem to work better together in the same physical location with only 25% of employees saying working from home has improved their coworking relationships.

Working from Home & Co-worker Relationships Infographic

Infographic by Desert Hope Treatment showing results across the country

A 2020 (pre-pandemic) survey of pre-pandemic times found that in 2019, the average employee spent more than $3,000 on after-work drinks. As many know, alcohol can sometimes lower our inhibitions, and very regrettable statements are made that result in difficult discussions the next day. In fact, almost 1 in 5 (18%) respondents say they’ve personally witnessed an argument during after-work drinks before. It seems lack of alcohol is ameliorating these encounters between colleagues as 42% say they feel work gossip and office politics has decreased since people have been working from home.

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