It’s a little bit backwards when you think about it. We spend much more time with our fellow colleagues and coworkers than we do our friends and partners, and yet we don’t have any say over who we sit next to for eight-plus hours nearly every day of the week. Because of this, it can sometimes be very difficult to develop good interpersonal relationships at work. However, these social interactions are absolutely crucial not only to our careers — but also to our overall health and wellness.

One of the largest causes of stress in the workplace is tension between coworkers. When leaders promote healthy, positive relationships between their subordinates, through team-building and increased teamwork, these tensions are less likely to occur. Because of this, the stress in the environment decreases, benefiting workers’ overall physical and mental health. Not only is there an elimination of negative feelings, though; there’s also an increase in positive emotions, through a boost in morale.

While this boost in morale and healthy teamwork is all good and well, some executives are happy to note that it’s not only a great thing for their employees’ wellbeing — it’s also a fantastic opportunity for their bottom line. Employees with increased morale are more likely to arrive on time and appear motivated and ready for action, whereas those with a decreased morale are more likely to call in sick and less likely to participate in the overall office community. At the end of the day, happy employees are productive employees and this happiness often stems from getting along with colleagues.

Of course, on a personal level, you’ll be glad to know that these positive relationships, beyond decreasing your stress and helping your company as a whole, will also help your individual career. Executives who are looking to hire from within are often looking for those employees that show a great affinity within the workplace, and that appear to truly enjoy their work, environment and co-workers. You’ll never receive the recognition and promotions you’re looking for if you’re constantly sulking off by yourself, not even making an effort to bridge the gap between you and your colleagues, to find a common ground where you can not only work effectively together, but also play together in harmony once the day’s work is done.

If this kind of interaction is difficult for you now, it doesn’t have to remain that way. The impact of a simple smile can be remarkable, and learning to not only smile at others, but also carry on some meaningless chit-chat with your officemates, will take you further than you’d anticipate. Eventually, you’ll begin seeing the amazing results that occur when you start taking your office relationships seriously.

Want to learn a few exercises for boosting your office friendliness and popularity, so you can rise to the ranks through the power of relationships? Check out my FREE webinar The Big Secrets of Small Talk. It will show you how to be a talented and personable Engaging Executive, just like the pros.