In 2013, Harvard released a study called The Harvard Grant Study, the results of it. You might have heard about it: it was a 75-year longitudinal study into what makes us happy and satisfied. And two out of the five core findings of that study were related to connection and relationships.

So the first one was that love is the foundation of happiness in life, and if you don’t have love, it’s very very hard to be happy.

And the second is that, the more connections you can create across your life, across all elements of your life, the more satisfied you tend to be in your life, and that includes work. So if you can create connection and have strong relationships in the workplace it actually increases your satisfaction with your life overall.

I’d love to get a show of hands: how many of you feel like you have a good friend at work?

Oh that’s awesome. OK. I would raise my hand to that, absolutely. People with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be motivated and productive.

Like the stuff that John said, from First, Break All the Rules, very very connected to your productivity and motivation is how connected you are to the people in your workplace.

You would think, based on that, that everybody would have a good friend at work. No, they do not. This was just an article about friendship at work and you can see it’s from 10th June 2015 – it’s from last year: “My work colleagues are just that: colleagues. They are not friends.”  That’s very clear.

So in actual fact, 42% of people in the UK say they have a good friend at work. And in the US, from the 1980s where it was about 50% of people had a good friend at work, it’s dropped all the way to less than a third so say they have a good friend at work. Now, that’s down to a number of things, but one of the things they tie that to is tenure because we no longer have jobs for life.

Shannon Banks is a consultant, facilitator and coach with 20 years of experience working with organizations in the commercial sector. She has won international awards for her work in leadership development and is a sought-after public speaker. Prior to her current work, Shannon spent 17 years as a business and HR leader at Microsoft. You can contact her on Twitter at @shannonb.

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