Londoners have the fewest close friends, according to a recent survey, and most of these are made at the office. Why do many people now meet so many of their close friends at work and, from an employer's perspective, is it something that can be managed?
Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology and health at Lancaster University management school, says it is only to be expected. He explains: "If roughly 10% of managers are working more than 60 hours per week, and you add on the commute time in London, how much disposable time do people have to give to sustaining relationships outside work?"
Count on your mates
The results were intriguing. People in their 20s have eight friends, on average, but 40 years ago, a 20-year-old person would have had 14 friends. We make on average two friends through work, while the remainder typically tend to come from school or college/university.
Angela O'Connor, chief people officer at the National Policing Improvement Agency, and a successful networker, says this is because there is "so much less of a divide between work and the rest of our lives".
She says: "I have loads of networks and friends that I have met through work. I think it would be very odd not to do so."
So, are work friendships good news? Cooper says: "There is nothing wrong with team friendships. It's when friendships sour that problems may occur."
The prospect of having to reprimand your best friend for coming in late is one no-one would relish, but can employers help?
"Some companies do have 'love contracts', but they don't do it for friendships. As an employer, you want your team to forge good interpersonal relationships. You cannot legislate for friendships as much as you can with partnerships.
"I believe the best thing to do is be as honest as possible with your line manager about a friendship. Arguments can have devastating consequences for morale. Handling it is down to management training rather than policies and guidelines," Cooper adds.