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Official ties

india Updated: Apr 02, 2008 19:55 IST
Preeti Khilnani
Preeti Khilnani
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Man is a social animal, Aristotle said. He constantly makes friends wherever he goes. This phenomenon also follows him to his workplace. But the concept of working has changed completely.

Most industries nowadays do not have a nine-to-five routine. This forces employees to make friends of colleagues. In fact, these friends grow to be an important part of each other's lives.

This trend stems from the need to share one's life. Due to work pressures and hectic timings, it is hard to really get a life outside work. The lack of close to friends and family pushes people to fulfil that need at the office.

Compulsive pals
Most industries - media, aviation to call centres and information technology - have erratic working hours and people always work in teams.

Working round the clock and travelling for work with the same colleagues, makes these professionals bond because they can identify with each other's personal and professional problems.

Kunal Rai, client servicing executive, says, "It's a startling realisation that I do not have friends outside work. But that's just how contemporary work life is and we don't have the time or energy to make friends outside."

Family at work
On one hand, one can feel ostracisied, but on the other hand, it could be healthy too. Many people have found closest friends at their work places. The informality of the work culture often contributes to it.

Office culture isn't like how it was earlier. Companies today offer motivational incentives like office picnics, off-site tours, parties, lunches and dinners to increase bonding betwen employees and employers.

Esthar Caszo, assistant producer, says, "Many of my colleagues live alone and their life is all about office. It is like their second home. We become each other's family."

How long do these relation ships really last? Are these bonds restricted only while you work together in the same office?

People often switch jobs and the strength of these bonds is weakened. Mitika Bhatia, HR professional, says "Most relationships at work tend to be superficial in the long run. The bonds are temporary unless you make it a point to meet your old colleagues once you have moved on."

This seldom happens because of the busy lifestyles and you move from office to office getting new sets of friends.

Like most relationships, these bonds are completely relative. You can make that extra effort to be in touch and keep the relationship alive even after work and office. Staying in touch is simple enough via text messages, phone calls, emails and networking sites.