Remember how we all missed our work best friends during the pandemic, while we were working from home? Those chai break gossip sessions and lunch hour walks culminate into a special kind of friendship, and its these workplace friends who make going to office fun. Workplace friendships can be wonderful, but let's be real they can also be tricky to navigate. On the one hand, having friends at work can make the day fly by and make your job more enjoyable. On the other hand, navigating these relationships can be tricky, if you're not careful, as you could end up creating unnecessary drama and tension. So how can you make sure your work friendships are awesome, and not awkward? Here are a few tips:1. Set boundariesThe first step to navigating workplace friendships is to set boundaries. While it's great to be friendly with your colleagues, it's important to remember that you're all there to do a job, and sometimes that means putting your professional responsibilities ahead of your personal relationships. For example, you may want to chat and socialise during lunch breaks or after work hours, but when you're working, you need to stay focused and avoid any distractions. Or you may decide that you're happy to talk about work-related topics during the day, but you prefer to keep your personal life separate from your professional one. Whatever boundaries you choose, make sure you communicate them clearly and respectfully to your colleagues so that they know what to expect.2. Watch how you behaveIt's also important to be mindful of your behaviour when you're around your colleagues. You don't want to be that person who's always gossiping, spreading rumours, or getting caught up in office politics. Keep in mind that your actions can have an impact on your reputation and relationships with your colleagues, so act accordingly. Keep things professional, so you can avoid any awkwardness or negative consequences. Instead, focus on being supportive, positive and professional in your interactions.3. Be inclusive, not exclusiveOne of the biggest risks of workplace friendships is that they can create exclusive cliques that leave others feeling left out or marginalised. Excluding others can create tension and undermine team dynamics, which can ultimately harm the overall work environment. Instead, make an effort to include everyone in social activities and work-related discussions, and encourage your colleagues to do the same. If you do have close friends at work, be mindful of how you're perceived by others and make sure that you're not excluding anyone or creating negative dynamics.4. Handle conflicts like a bossEven the best of friends can have disagreements from time to time. When that happens, try to keep your cool and work together to find a solution that is acceptable to everyone. It's important to handle the situation with maturity and professionalism, and not get emotional. If you're struggling to resolve the conflict on your own, don't hesitate to involve a supervisor or HR representative to mediate the situation.5. Keep the TMI to a minimumNow this is a tricky one; find a middle ground on what and how much information you share with your work friends. While it's great to have friends you can confide in, be mindful of what you share. It's important to keep personal information private, when it comes to workplace friendships. Avoid oversharing personal details that could make your colleagues uncomfortable or create awkward situations in the workplace. Keep your conversations focused on work-related topics or on things that are appropriate to discuss in a professional setting.