Are you friendly with those who work around you? If yes, the chances of your coping with stress are much better says a study published in the American Journal of Public Health.

A story in the New York Times speaks of research at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Data was studied data of over 24,000 Canadian workers in 2002. They found that 5 percent of the workers suffered from serious bouts of depression. Notably, men who endured high job strain were two times more likely to succumb to depression than men with minimal job stress. Women who had little decision-making authority had twice the depression risk compared to women with more power.

Employees who feel social support at work are far less likely to suffer serious depression problems.  “It’s more than just friendship,’’ said Emma Robertson Blackmore, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Rochester and the lead author on the study. “Your family and friends give you support, but because they’re not in your work environment they don’t have the level of understanding that your work colleagues do.’’ Work friends, she noted, “get where you’re coming from.’’

So the next time, some one shares a problem at work or wants your time to talk about something which is bothering them, remember you too may need their time and help sometime.