Being friendly with your coworkers can be a huge benefit to your overall satisfaction and happiness in the workplace. But in order to remain professional and productive, it’s crucial to make sure that relationships remain healthy and positive for both parties. 

There are a few reasons that being friendly with your coworkers can improve your experience at work. For one, you’re likely to have more fun. Creating a stimulating environment can lead you to feel more engaged in the workplace which can lead to higher job satisfaction. And when you’re more satisfied, you’re more productive.  

Another reason to have positive relationships in the workplace is because it can help you build your network. Having a network of likeminded professionals is a great way to grow in your position and hear about new opportunities. If you work in the same position, you can brainstorm and bounce ideas off one another. It’s also helpful to have someone to answer questions and provide guidance regarding your career.  

Now that we know some of the benefits to having a friendly rapport with colleagues, we can look at how to maintain a healthy relationship with your coworkers. Here are some helpful tips: 

Let them happen naturally 

Some people are more talkative at work, some aren’t. Neither one of these is right or wrong – but it’s a good reason to let friendships form naturally rather than forcing them. You don’t want anyone to feel pressured to form a relationship with you if they’re uncomfortable. When people naturally gravitate towards one another, relationships can form more easily and feel more cohesive. 

Keep the conversations light 

There are some topics that are appropriate for the workplace and some that aren’t. Consider movie ratings: PG, PG-13, and R. Some content is not suitable for certain ages. In this case, some conversations aren’t suitable for work. Topics like family, interests outside of work, and career aspirations are likely safe topics. It’s better to err on the side of caution when deciding what you should and shouldn’t discuss.  

Refrain from gossip 

It might be tempting to discuss workplace matters with coworkers. But this is how gossip starts and misinformation can be spread. If you’re talking about work, keep the conversations professional and limit it to your position(s) or your goals.  

Consider how you spend time outside work 

Happy hours and team bonding often occur so coworkers feel more comfortable with one another and are typically held outside of the workplace. But it’s important that these events don’t end in a wild night. If you’re drinking alcohol, be conscious of how much you consume and do not overdo it. Limit your post-work events to a couple of hours and don’t forget to keep the conversations light and refrain from gossip so you can remain appropriate. 

Creating a healthy, positive relationship with your coworkers can be a great way to have some fun at work while staying engaged and productive. Use these tips to start building up your friendships and grow your network.