Channel NewsAsia

Sacrifice friendship for a promotion? 1 in 2 in Singapore would consider it

A survey by LinkedIn found that over half of 1,000 workers surveyed in Singapore would consider sacrificing friendships with a colleague for a promotion. 

SINGAPORE: "With friends like these, who needs enemies?" the saying goes. A survey by professional network LinkedIn showed this holds a grain of truth in the Singaporean workplace.

Its Relationships@Work study, released Tuesday (July 8), found that 51.6 per cent said they would at least consider sacrificing their friendship with a colleague if it would result in a promotion. Additionally, 22 per cent had an ulterior motive for socialising with their fellow colleagues, thinking it would help them move up the career ladder. This sort of thinking was most prevalent in millenials (people aged 18 to 34), with 40.9 per cent confessing to such intentions.

When it comes to actual work, 20.4 per cent said having friendships with colleagues made them even more competitive.

That said, the study found that 51.5 per cent of professionals surveyed believed that friendships with colleagues make them happier at work. More millenials thought friendships at work impacted them in a positive way compared to baby boomers (people aged 55 to 65).

Millenials were also found to be more open with their colleagues - with more of them likely to discuss salaries with co-workers, seek relationship advice, and even befriend their managers on social media, compared to baby boomers. 

Other interesting findings from the global survey:

  • Workers in Singapore are the world's most likely to prefer a manager of the opposite sex (25.1 per cent)
  • Singaporean workers topped others in Asia in having food as a workplace conversation topic (80.8 per cent)
  • Majority of workers in Singapore reported eating lunch with colleagues on most of their work days (68.3 per cent, higher than the global average of 54.1 per cent) 

Said Ms Tara Commerford, Head of Communications for LinkedIn for Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia: “While (relationships at work) can have a positive influence on us in many respects, it’s important to also consider the professional image you’re projecting for yourself; especially as the lines between personal and professional blur in our increasingly social world.”

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