Work Friendships Are Mostly Amazing and Sometimes Messy

A conversation with Nancy Rothbard and Julianna Pillemer

It’s great to have colleagues who are also friends. They can make coming to work more fun and engaging and can even make a ho-hum job more tolerable. It’s a good feeling when we have someone to cheer us on, to confide in, be straight with, to cry in front of. But they also involve challenges, like maintaining those friendships when you become a boss or trying to tone down a relationship that’s just too draining.

Nancy Rothbard, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, and Julianna Pillemer, a professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, are researchers who have studied work friendships.

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