We have completed team member engagement surveys for several years at work and one of the questions asked is “Do you have a best friend at work?” If you give this question a high score, according to Gallup research, you will be much more engaged at work. This makes logical sense to me because if you have friends at work, the work will likely be more enjoyable, you will look forward to come to work and as a result you will be more engaged.
What happens then when you retire?
As a I contemplate my transition to retirement, I am realizing that I have several friends at work that I want to stay connected with. How that will play out, how much connection I will really have, is still a mystery to me at this point in the transition. I am starting to prepare for this as I have already connected with a few friends on social media. I have gathered some personal email addresses and phone numbers and I have actually said (and meant it) to several of my work friends that I really do want to stay in touch.
I would expect that I will also make some new connections through my volunteer work and other post-retirement activity. Social connections are important literally for survival. According to significant research that was done in the Netherlands several years ago titled “Longitudinal Aging Study”, those adults with high emotional support, i.e. friends, had a mortality rate in the 2.5 years of the study period about half of those with low emotional support.
It is important to me in this next stage of life to have continuity of several of my work friendships even as I am closing out one chapter and moving to the next. I also look forward to building new friendships as I journey forward into new activities and experiences and am already making some new connections that may qualify as “best friends at …”
A Boomer In Transition