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When you spend a third of your life at some form of workplace, having a friend can be the difference between dreading or looking forward to the inevitable necessity of putting in some hours in exchange for a bit of dough.

Whether it’s payday memes, working in groups to decipher memos from management or just the occasional heads up of cake showing up at reception, our tribal instinct encourages us to befriend those similar to us. Apart from making work more fun, having friendly faces at your job means that you are more engaged with the company and the quality of your work will definitely see a boost.

Some folk are just naturally good at making work friends, while others tend to stiffen up and take a long time to open up to colleagues. If you are one of the latter, we scoured the web for some great advice on how to foster these relationships:

Sometimes the best way to get to know a co-worker is by taking initiative.
Be open to introducing yourself to new faces you see around the office,
and don’t be afraid to strike up small talk. (Lifehacker)

Get your foot in the door with work events. For example, if your company
holds a summer picnic , its a great opportunity to get to know your
colleagues and their plus-ones in a more informal setting. (Forbes)

Eating lunch away from your desk is a low-stakes way to get to know
people while you’re on the clock. Bonus: In addition to adding to your
friendships, it’ll also boost your productivity and creativity. (U.S. News)

It doesn’t always have to take a lot of effort on your part to get closer to a
peer. You’d be surprised: Genuinely listening when you have
conversations goes a long way. (Examiner.com)

Here’s a classic: happy hour. Its obvious, but its common for a reason.
On top of strengthening relationships with the people you see every day,
knowing who works where and does what will also make you better at
your job. (Business Insider)

If drinking or staying out late aren’t really for you, there are other easy ways to make workplace connections, too. Look into cool local events you can take advantage of, then invite anyone whose interested to tag along. (Mashable)

Need a sure-fire way to get on someone’s good side? Random acts of
kindness will usually do the trick. (LinkedIn)

If it seems appropriate, consider following your co-workers on social
media. While this can definitely do wonders in bringing some people
together, its not for everyone—so, use your own judgement. (CNN)

Not exactly a social butterfly? No worries. There are plenty of ways
for introverts to reach out without leaving their comfort zone.
(Entrepreneur)

If things aren’t working out, and you’re really struggling to make a friend,
take a step back. There are plenty of valid reasons you haven’t developed
those strong relationships yet. (CAREEREALISM)

Don’t force it (and don’t sweat it!) , if things just aren’t happening
naturally. Its not part of every company’s culture for employees to be
BFFs. (Business Weekly)

And remember, you don’t have to love everyone you work with. Making a
few frenemies in the office will open doors for you, too. (The Daily Muse)

Here is an infographic a few tips for opening up the right way in the
workplace:

make-friends-at-work

Have a work pal (or a few) that you think would enjoy a neat Christmas greeting? Send them one of our cards today!

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