Work Colleagues Are the New Neighbours

12 Jan

A recent survey of 2100 Australian households for NRMA Insurance found nearly half the population never or rarely spoke to their neighbours. According to Bernard Salt, a demographer at KPMG, offices are replacing traditional neighbourhoods as people prefer to befriend co-workers instead of those living down the street as busy careers limit opportunities for socialising:

KPMG demographer Bernard Salt said many people opted to talk to their workmates across the office partition rather than chat to their neighbours over the fence.

“People say that it’s a bad thing, that there has been a sense of community lost, but really it’s just shifted from suburbia to the office,” Mr Salt said.

“Co-workers like the idea of sharing things, asking advice of one another, asking favours and also like the idea of the kids playing together – they like the notion of them playing with ‘approved’ friends instead of the kids down the street.

“You have town planners trying to recreate the old notion of the neighbourhood but that’s something that’s long gone.”

It makes for an interesting read and provokes questions about work-life balance (or imbalance as the case may be). Read the full article here.

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