Co-workers can be great pals, but proceed with caution
Your office is more than just a workplace; it is a social environment likely filled with cliques, an assortment of personalities and many opportunities for friendships. Office romances are generally a no-no, but there is nothing wrong with making friends with your 9-to-5 crew as long as you follow these rules.
Share with Caution
Anything you shared with your office friend has the potential to become fodder for gossip, so share with caution, especially with co-workers you barely know. Don't spill anything you would not be comfortable with the whole office knowing or showing up on Facebook. You never know when personal ties will be cut, and unlike normal ex-buddies that are easier to avoid, ex-office friends are still going to be around in cramped cubicles and awkward elevator rides.
Keep Quiet About the Boss
It is easy to blow off steam about your supervisors to coworkers, but that rant can easily make it to a decision-maker's office or be accidentally blurted out in conversation. Vent to you regular friends when you need to. Those conversations won't come back to haunt you later.
...And Other Coworkers
Bashing your fellow officemates behind closed doors can destroy relationships and ruin office morale. Teamwork is important in any office setting, and gossiping or complaining about coworkers is not the way to foster it. Talking about others also marks you as someone who cannot be trusted, and that is another essential aspect of doing business.
Skip Happy Hour
It's tempting to grab a drink with coworkers after a grueling day at the office, but skipping the alcohol ensures you won't do anything that will embarrass you come Monday. An occasional cocktail is fine, but getting sloshed with your officemates is a recipe for disaster.
What are your “rules” for office friendships? Share your tips with our readers in the comments section below!