“Work/life balance” is the buzz phrase of the moment, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Americans are notoriously overworked, and we could all use more time for our personal lives.
However, it can be easy to go too far with work/life balance. Some workers end up erecting impenetrable walls between their personal and professional lives. Boundaries are important, of course, but problems arise when this strict separation leads workers to start treating even their colleagues as office furniture — fixtures that exist simply so you can get your job done.
You don’t have to like all of your coworkers, but you should try to make friends with at least some of them. From the organizational perspective, friendlier coworkers collaborate better, produce better results, and have higher morale. More importantly, workplace friendships are good for you, too: Those who have friends in the office are less stressed, more resilient, and happier in their jobs.
A new infographic from CashNetUSA outlines all the benefits of having friends on the job, as well as some useful strategies to help you make some. If you’re an HR pro or people manager, consider using some of these strategies to help your employees get closer with one another: