Going into the office every day isn’t a really social endeavor—we work to advance ourselves professionally (and, well, to pay the bills) not because we want to bond with our coworkers.
That said, having a bestie at your company is pretty crucial for your sanity—and your success—in the workplace. According to The Huffington Post, a 2012 Gallup report found that 50 percent of employees who have work BFFs feel a strong connection to their companies, versus 10 percent of employees who don’t have a close office pal. Plus, as New York Magazine reports, studies show that employees with a best friend at work tend to be more focused and passionate about their jobs, as well.
[Related: 15 Things Only Your Work BFF Understands]
Clearly, making friends in the workplace is key. Here are five important ways that your work wife, partner-in-crime, or what have you, will help you shine.
1. Having a work pal makes you more productive.
When you have a personal connection with someone you work with, you’re more motivated to work harder, studies show. Not only could you let your company or customers down if you don’t do your best work, but you’d let down your work BFF, too. Also, when you have someone to keep you accountable, you can encourage each other through tough projects, crazy deadlines, and long nights working late.
2. You’ll have someone to cover for you.
Everyone has those mornings when you’re running late or those days when you just need some “personal” time. When you have a work BFF, she can be your point of contact to let the boss know you’re going to be a few minutes late to the AM meeting, or even cover for you if you’re playing hooky from work. Another helpful perk? When you’re on vacation, your work BFF can help lighten your load, taking on some of your responsibilities so you’re not hit with a mountain of tasks the moment you get back to the office.
3. Having a work BFF makes you feel understood.
Sometimes you just need to vent about that awful meeting, your boss, a nightmare client—something job-related that only someone you work with could understand. By having a colleague you’re close with, you can commiserate over these things and both feel like you’re being heard. This can be super helpful not only for your own emotional needs but also so you don’t burden your significant other or outside-of-work friends with your frustrations when they can’t really get them completely.
[Related: Confessions of a Former Angry Coworker]
4. She can make you look good.
According to the Harvard Business Review, a work friend can root for you when you’re up for a promotion and provide that professional and personal boost you need to be at your best in the office. Your work BFF can give you props in front of the boss and support you without being competitive or jealous. By holding each other up, you’ll both rise.
5. She can advise you on your next career move.
Because your work BFF knows your skills, strengths, and weaknesses—she’s seen you in action after all!—she can be a killer advisor when you’re contemplating the direction of your career. Whether you’re gunning for a new position within the company you’re at, or job-seeking elsewhere, she can be your confidant when it comes to writing a cover letter, updating your resume, negotiating an offer, or deciding if you should take a new gig.
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