4 reasons you NEED to have co-workers as close friends

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Recently, there was a Ragan.com article that said you shouldn’t make friends with people
you work with.

Ummm—what?!

I hadn’t even gotten past the headline, and I was already ticked off. I
emailed one of my friends and asked her if she thought I should write a
rebuttal to
this nonsense.

My friend just happens to be my editor. Of course she said yes.

Some of my greatest friendships started at work. It’s hard to imagine
not working with people I didn’t want to be friends with. I’m convinced
that having
close office friends not only benefits your life inside the cubicle
garden, but outside it, too.

Here’s why:

Your other friendships will improve

Do you have friends in your “real” life who are always complaining about
the day-to-day minutiae of their office life? Whenever you see them,
they can’t
wait to tell you about Kelly’s new haircut, a seemingly hilarious office
email chain, or what their CEO ate for breakfast. These people have no
office
friends. If they did have friends at work, they could spare you all the
blah details of their 9-to-5.

Here’s the thing: Nobody really cares about your office or your co-workers.

The only people who care about your co-workers are your co-workers.
That’s why you need to be friends with them. After a long day at work,
it’s a nice to
grab a drink with an office friend—chat about the day, swap stories, and
laugh at the same workplace gossip. This eases the burden on all your
friends
outside work, too. Work stories only make sense with your work friends.

Especially if your office is filled with a bunch of characters (see:
Ragan Communications), it’s hard to describe who you spend 40 hours a
week with,
anyway. For example, here is a video of my office friend and mentor Bill. He has Grammar Obsessive
Disorder Complex. How could I ever explain him to the outside world?

More networking opportunities

People get new jobs all the time. Let’s say your office buddy leaves for
a new job. You’re looking for something new, too. Doesn’t it seem
likely that if
there’s an opening, they’ll recommend you to their new boss? Also, let’s
think about it in another sense: If you want to go to a networking
event after
work, it’s fun to bring along a co-worker friend.

The hours will go by faster

Life is more enjoyable if you spend time with people you like. Even if
you’re not 100 percent in love with your job, wouldn’t you be slightly
happier if
you were good friends with your cube mate? It’s nice to have someone to
eat lunch with, too. Even though it’s not the perfect metaphor, telling
someone to
avoid friendships at work is like telling someone to avoid friendships
at school. Who wants to live like that?

You’ll get help

Friends help friends get stuff done. If you go out of your way to help a
friend, they’ll go out their way to help you. That’s how it works at an
office,
too. If you don’t have friends at work and you need help, people might
say they’re too busy or that you’ll need to schedule a meeting to talk.
But if
you’re friends with your co-workers, they’ll stop what they’re doing to
help you. You’d do the same, too.

In the comments section, I know that some of you are going to say, “No!
Keep your distance! Be professional!” and sure, I understand the
sentiment behind
that. But I’m not saying you should go to strip clubs and start a meth
lab with your co-workers. All I’m saying is that it’s nice to have
office friends.

It’s OK if you disagree with me. We probably wouldn’t be friends, anyway.

 

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