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Survey Reveals How Employees Are Bonding With the Boss

How close are you with your boss at work? From following each other on Snapchat to asking the boss for advice on personal matters, a new survey finds many employees are finding various ways to bond with the boss!

Researchers at Olivet Nazarene University recently surveyed 3,000 employees to find out how they relate to their bosses on a daily basis. How close are today's employee-boss relationships? Let's get a status update on the modern employee-manager relationship, stat!

Call Me!
For starters, 68% of employees have the boss's phone number -- a statistic I find completely unsurprising because we need to contact the boss in an emergency. Frankly, I'm more surprised that 32% of employees said that they do not have the boss's phone number.

But get this: slightly more than one-third of employees (34%) have asked the boss for advice regarding a personal, non-work related issue, while more than one-fourth of bosses (29%) have asked their employees for advice regarding a personal matter, too! Here's the spreadsheet. By the way, my spouse wants to separate and I'm not sure what to do...

It's all in a day's work in our 24/7 online work culture where our colleagues might well be our BFFs (a.k.a., Business Friends Forever) and top the list of the most important people in our lives. Here are some other key findings from the research:

1. Social Media Use

Roughly one-third (32%) of bosses and employees are friends on Facebook, while 9% follow each other on Instagram. Only 4% follow each other on Snapchat, presumably because seeing the boss with a virtual cat or dog face would be kind of awkward or unprofessional?


2. Hanging Out After Hours

Nearly one-fourth (24%) of employees report spending time at the boss's house, while the same percentage (24%) hang out socially with their supervisor. The boss is also going to employees' homes: 15% of bosses report hanging out at employees' houses. Meanwhile, 18% of employees surveyed have spent two (or more) hours in the car with the boss.

3. Treating the Boss To Dinner

Do you spend money on your boss? 16% of employees have bought the boss dinner on their dime. Nothing says "give me the promotion already!" like a big bowl of restaurant pasta. Okay, make it prime rib since the boss is on a low-carb diet.


4. Men and Women Relate Differently To the Boss

Women and men have their own ways of bonding with the boss. Women are most likely to have the boss's phone number, while men are most likely to have spent two hours (or more!) in a car with the boss.

Women are also more likely to buy the boss a gift and to friend him or her on Facebook, while men are more likely to buy the boss a meal and then go exercise with him or her to work it off. It's just how it works, apparently.


5. Some Industries Are More Chummy Than Others

Finally, which industries tend to have the highest levels of employee-boss familiarity and bonding?

Real estate, restaurant/food service, and marketing/advertising/PR top the list of highly-bonded workplaces. On the other end of the buddy scale are education, HR/recruiting and scientific fields, which have the lowest levels of employee-boss familiarity and bonding. I'll let you go like your boss's photo on Facebook now.


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