Watch your back, young people are more likely to sacrifice a workplace friendship in order to get ahead.
That is one of the findings from a global study conducted by social networking platform LinkedIn in partnership with CensusWide. The research discovered more than half of people aged 18-25 said they would tarnish a friendship with a work colleague in order to climb the office ladder.
Baby Boomers seem to be more loyal than their younger colleagues, with 63% of respondents aged 55-65 saying they would not sacrifice a friendship with a co-worker for a promotion in comparison to just one-fifth of Millennials.
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However, young people aren’t all bad – Millennials were more likely than any other age group to report workplace friendships impact them in a positive way. While 62% of 18 to 24-year-olds said making friends at work makes them happy, nearly half of workers aged 55-65 said their friendships at work had no impact on their overall performance.
Three out of five Millennials also said socialising with co-workers makes for a better working environment, in comparison to less than two out of five Baby Boomers.
Director and coach at Nourish Coaching, Sally-Anne Blanshard, said in a statement having friendly and supportive work colleagues can boost productivity in the workplace.
“The relationships we have at work can have a huge impact on our enjoyment, longevity and success at the office,” she said.
“Such a significant portion of our lives is spent at work, so it is natural for bonds to develop with our colleagues.”
But Blanshard said employees need to remember a workplace is a professional environment and a line needs to be drawn somewhere.
“While workplace relationships are important, it is crucial to maintain your professionalism and respect,” she said.
“Engaging relationships are based on being authentic, professional and collaborative. This helps people, teams and businesses work more productively.”
There also seemed to be a generation divide when it came to what constituted too much information, according to the study.
LinkedIn found younger workers are more comfortable discussing personal issues in the office, with almost half of Millennials saying they are open to sharing relationship advice with their co-workers in comparison to just 18% of Baby Boomers.
The “never talk about money” rule could also be fading away, with the younger generations more likely to talk about their salary with co-workers than Baby Boomers.
However, Margaret Harrison, managing director of Our HR Company, told SmartCompany she doesn’t think there is too much of a difference when it comes to different generations in the workforce.
“It’s very much a thing of respecting people’s responsibilities,” says Harrison.
“People don’t leave a job, they leave a manager. It doesn’t matter how old the manager is or how young the manager is,” she says.
Harrison says she would like to see people drop their misconceptions when it comes to different age groups.
“That intergenerational divide can really be overcome by people respecting prior experience, development opportunities and knowing each other and working together,” she says. “We’re all human beings.”