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The company you keep

Published on Wednesday, 29 Feb 2012

Despite the positive aspects of maintaining friendships at work, such relationships can occasionally cause problems. Here are some pointers to keep in mind when building relationships with colleagues.

Avoid gossipers Think twice before confiding in the office gossip or the boss’s most vocal critic.

Don’t go overboard with socialising Remember that work comes first, so be mindful of how much time you spend chatting with friends in the workplace.

Don’t be a doormat Friends at work should support and help one another. But this doesn’t mean that you have to pitch in to help a co-worker at the expense of managing your own workload. Also, don’t limit your assistance to your friends only. Offer help to anyone who needs it.

Don’t stick with a clique – widen your professional circle Your favourite work friends can be a lot of fun, but remember to invite others to join the group, so that no one at the office feels excluded. Also, look beyond your team or department for workplace friends.

Volunteer to help with a work-related social event where you can meet new people. When your co-workers are your friends, you are more likely to support one another when facing challenges.

Pallavi Anand, director, Robert Half Hong Kong

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