October 15, 2010
You and your boss: BFFs forever or strictly professional?
Who says the recession hasn't brought coworkers together? In a recent survey by employment agency Adecco Staffing U.S., 78 percent of managers polled said they felt a stronger bond with their team members than they did three years ago. Direct reports joined in this lovefest too, with 61 percent saying they felt closer to their boss than before the recession began.
[Flickr photo by Kumar Appaiah]
But wait -- there's more. Ninety-one percent of employees polled told Adecco they think their boss respects them and that the feeling is mutual. Moreover, 86 percent of respondents said they trust their manager.
None of this is to say that the majority of employees are having their boss over to dinner every weekend or texting them their deepest darkest secrets late into the night. In fact, Adecco found that a majority of respondents didn't feel that "socializing with the boss" was necessary to succeed at work.
Other fun facts this survey turned up:
- Nine percent of respondents said they've shown an interest in their manager's hobbies to try to advance their career, and 7 percent said they've tried to sleep their way to career advancement by having an office fling.
- Although a majority of Americans now use online social networks, only 18 percent of those polled said they're connected with their boss on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Foursquare. Of these respondents, a third regretted being connected to their boss online and almost half have tweaked their privacy settings to hide their posts from their manager.
- Curiously, 42 percent of the Generation X workers polled said they thought connecting with their boss online via social networks was a smart career move, as opposed to 23 percent of the Boomers and Millennials polled.
- Most respondents said the respect the feel for a boss couldn't be undermined by an age difference, no matter how wide the generation gap. But that conviction waned as the hypothetical age gap between underling and manager grew, with 89 percent of respondents saying they'd have no trouble respecting a boss two years younger than them but just 56 percent saying they could respect a boss 20 years younger than them.
- Six in 10 employees "consider their boss a friend." But only three in 10 spend quality time with their manager outside work, and only two in 10 enjoy doing so.
How about you? Do you socialize with your boss after hours? Do you want to? Or do you think bosses and direct reports should keep their relationship strictly professional?
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.
Kristen Fife is a senior recruiter, career mentor, blogger and resume consultant based in the Seattle area.
Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.
Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
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