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How to make friends at work

It can be tricky to know how to navigate friendships in the workplace. How much should you connect with your co-workers? Too much, and you might not get enough work done. But too little, and you miss out on collaboration, overwhelmed by your lonely workload.

Luckily, we’ve got a few pointers:

1. What are the benefits of work friendships?

2. How do you make work friends?

3. What does a typical work friendship look like?

4. How do you have good workplace boundaries with work friends?

What are the benefits of workplace friendships?

The benefits of work friends go far beyond having someone who’s always willing to loan you their stapler. Research shows that employees who get super close with their co-workers are happier at work, more engaged, better with clients, do better work, and are less injury prone. In comparison, Gallup reports “those without a best friend in the workplace have just a 1-in-12 chance of being engaged.”

When you find the right balance between personal and professional, you reap the rewards of friendships at work. Finding a colleague you can be close with means having:

How do you make work friends?

If you’ve just started a new job, your focus is probably on learning as much about your new role as possible. But you should also set aside some time to connect with your new co-workers. Positive work friendships are a key factor in millennials – who are notorious for job-hopping – staying at their place of employment longer. Convince your co-workers to make nice with the new kid by:

Follow these tips and you’ll be fast friends with your co-workers. But how do you keep your friendships going without the workplace getting weird?

What does a typical work friendship look like?

When you’re friends with someone at work, they tend to treat you better. “The stronger the friendship, the more of a buffering effect it has on negative behaviour.” But all that making nice can leave you emotionally exhausted by the end of the day. The easiest ways to manage your emotional investment throughout the day are to:

How do you have good workplace boundaries with work friends?

If you don’t maintain good boundaries, work friendships can get tricky. Some common scenarios and solutions are:

Work friends can be the positive boost your career needs. Just be sure to bring balance to friendships with coworkers by managing your boundaries, emotional investment and how much you share.