When I was a kid, I was a hugger. If I met a new friend, got a present, or found something pink–consider it squeezed. As I grew older, my propensity for hugging never waned. But fearful of awkward moments, I entered the workforce with a no-hugging rule. Luckily for all the hug lovers like me, a new study confirms that friendship with co-workers is the key to a long life.
The study, Work-based predictors of mortality: A 20-year follow-up of healthy employees, tracked 820 adults for 20 years and found that office environment and risk of dying were significantly correlated. The participants in the study worked an average 8.8 hours a day and answered questions about their peer relationships at work during their routine check-ups. People who reported having personal support of their peers at work were more likely to live a longer life.
Why does this matter? It’s essential for your health and happiness to work in an environment where you feel comfortable. At a PR company like March where communicating with co-workers is an integral part of daily life, we’re fortunate to have a supportive environment that fully embodies the word “team.”
Bottom line: It’s OK to hug it out. And if you need help getting that hug, there’s an app for that. The Hug Me doo-dad puts a “hug me” heart widget right on your screen. All you have to do is find that special someone, flash your phone, and you’re guaranteed to get a life-enhancing hug.