When it’s 5pm on a Friday night, there’s nothing more rewarding than having that first sip of beer or being able to finally put your feet up on your sofa after a long hard week. Many people argue that you shouldn’t take your work home with you… but what if your work friends have also become your forever friends that you just need to see outside them Monday – Friday working hours?

A recent survey of 600 UK residents got found that 31% of us see our colleagues as friends who they see on a regular basis. The boundaries between colleague and friend are sure to get blurred when spending so much time with one another!

Work relationships are very important for the well-being of employees, with the survey showing that those with strong relationships in the work place tend to be happier, healthier, less stressed and are more likely to remain loyal to their company.

However, when it comes to first making friends in a new workplace the thought can be very daunting for some. With some respondents revealing that social anxiety is the main reason why they do not like mingling in the workplace. Although a healthy well-being is a key motivating factor in socialising at work, others may have financial motives. Pay rises and promotions were significant factors for those surveyed with a total of 63% of respondents stating this is their primary reason for socialising.

Getting on the friendly side of your boss can only be a positive for you in the workplace, surely?

One way a business can encourage their employees to socialise is by laying on special events, usually ones that will involve a drink… or three. For many, a drink can calm them nerves and introduce some much needed Dutch courage to finally let your hair down and socialise on a much more personal level that is more than just “work talk” – just don’t be getting too drunk and doing something you’ll live to regret coming back into the office on Monday!

Ever wondered which industry is the most sociable? Then take a look at the latest infographic from Pall Mall Estates which uses the survey data to determine where, when and how people in the UK like to celebrate with their coworkers.