Have one or two (or maybe even more?) good mates at work? If the answers yes – you’re probably much happier at work than your colleagues, a 2014 survey by Globoforce has found.

According to the study, 71% of employees with friends at work reported loving their companies, compared to only 24% of employees who didn’t have friends at work. If you’re working with a buddy close by – you’re more likely to be highly engaged (69%), and more likely to stick around – only 21% of employees with friends at work will leave their company for another job, compared to 42% of those who aren’t chummy.

While you don’t need to run off and make friendship bracelets – there’s no doubt that having someone you can trust, and that you can have a laugh with along the way, makes for a more positive experience at the office.

Three Tips to Get Friendly:

  • It starts with a smile: even the Grinch learnt that being friendly isn’t that hard, simple gestures can go along way to forming friendships. Offer to help out when you see someone swamped or struggling, say good morning to the person whose name you always forget, or buy the next cubicle a coffee (hold the sugar).
  • Get involved: whether its taking a break to eat at the same time, or joining the office book club, social events and interest groups are great ways to learn more about the people who spend so much time with (feel free to watch the movie adaptation)
  • If you don’t have anything nice to say… Gossiping creates negativity, and alienating people will do more harm than good if you’re overheard by the water-cooler. So keep it positive remember what your mother taught you.