Having a work spouse is great. They're someone you can chat with, learn from, count on, and vent with. But when one of you starts to pull away, there's no marriage counselor to call — just a strong likelihood that someone's getting ready to move on.
Researchers at England's University of Exeter have just released a study showing how colleagues split each other into utilities and friends. "We found people who are considering quitting their jobs don't then feel the need to help or do favors for those who have given them advice over the years," said lead author Andrew Parker in a press release. "They feel less obligated towards their old colleagues and begin to focus on the benefits of creating new ties."
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Before you wonder if you should feel jilted or not, let your relationship play out a bit. Parker also found that employees work to "maintain existing relationships with colleagues who are friends, because they don't want to lose this relationship when they leave their job. They worry they might have less time available to create new friends."
If you've got one foot out the door at work, take care not to burn bridges. Even if you've mentally and emotionally checked out, you still need to bring your full efforts to your tasks and responsibilities, right up through your last day. It's worth staying classy and professional to the end. You never know whose help you'll need down the road.