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More Money or Working With Your Friends? What Workers Really Want

This article is from our friends at LearnVest, a leading site for women and their money.

What’s the key to a happy working life?

Here’s a hint: It’s not your salary.

Job search website Jobsite recently conducted a survey of 1,000 workers in the United Kingdom and found that for 70% of the participants, having work friends is the most important part of being happy on the job.

A majority of workers would turn down a raise if it meant that they could continue working with friends. On top of that, women—more so than men—said that they preferred having friends at work to having more money. 46% of men said that they would choose a higher-paying job even if it meant not getting along with co-workers, compared to 26% of women.

There’s more proof that money can’t buy you happiness. A recent experiment from UC Berkeley revealed that college students are more concerned with how much their peers respect them than how much money they make.

Cameron Anderson, the lead researcher of the experiment, explains the findings. “One of the reasons why money doesn’t buy you happiness is that people quickly adapt to the new level of income or wealth. Lottery winners, for example, are initially happy but then return to their original level of happiness quickly,” he said. “It’s possibly that being respected, having influence and being socially integrated just never gets old.” (On the other hand, underindulgence can bring you more happiness.)

Having work friends isn’t the only thing that affects workplace happiness (taking these three steps could probably help). Research scientist Ben Waber found that little adjustments, like larger lunch tables, can boost office morale and productivity by 25%.

So tell us: What makes your job bearable—or even awesome?

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  • Photo of friends at work courtesy of Shutterstock.