Making friends in the office can be difficult, especially if you are new to the workplace. But it’s essential to have friends at work. It can be a great way to improve productivity in your work life. It is linked with employees’ job satisfaction.
According to the reports, 74% of survey respondents said having a friend at work impacts their productivity.
The data shows how important it is for a person to have friends in the office. Further, if you have friends in the office, you get mentally healthy and happy.
This article will discuss how to make friends in the office and the importance of having friends at work.
Why workplace friendships are important?
Having friends in the workplace can lead to greater job satisfaction and better work performance. If you have friends in the workplace, you can become happier, stay competitive, and can focus on work more carefully.
You can achieve the following things through workplace relationships:
Improvement in mood
While you are working for a long time, you might feel monotonous. No matter what task you are doing, or how easy it is to do, you can feel workplace burnout at some times. But if you have friends in the office, you are less likely to experience that.
People who enjoy socializing with their coworkers have good working relationships. The result can be a boost in morale at work and a boost in mood.
Suppose you get nervous before your next presentation. When you have good colleagues cheering you on at work, you will feel better. They will always encourage you to do things in the right way.
The above data shows that having friends in the workplace improves employee and office productivity.
Further, when you are not experiencing any workplace burnout, you became happier and more productive. Having coworkers as friends will encourage and support you in the workplace.
Your team’s commitment and engagement can increase when you have positive and supportive coworkers. Workplace friendships also promote job satisfaction, which makes you more productive.
If you have problems at work, your friends are more likely to help you. As you gain more confidence and comfort in asking for help and advice from reliable and helpful coworkers, your work performance may increase.
Furthermore, you can ask your more experienced colleagues for career paths. In the future, they can be excellent references for you. And it will lead to personal and professional growth.
More enjoyable work experience
On average, people spend a minimum of eight hours per day at the office. It’s a long time and a big part of your life. As a result, if you have a friendly working environment, you can have fun and happy hours at work.
Friends at work become friends for life.
After spending so much time together, work friends get to know you very well. That doesn’t change after you leave a job.
These people can stay in your life long after you’ve moved on. Besides gaining the benefit of friendship, these connections can help you network and get new jobs in the future.
How to make friends at work?
For anyone who starts a new job, their main priority is learning about their assigned position. However, many people get problems and need to struggle to make friends with their teammates. Whether you are an extrovert or introvert, creating new relationships after starting a new job is challenging.
But to improve your personal and career life, making friends at the office is valuable. Follow the given 15 ideas to make friends at work.
Introduce yourself to the coworkers you meet
While initiating a conversation with another person at work is awkward, you can do so in the communal area. It can either be the kitchen, public place, or hallway.
If you still haven’t started a conversation with your colleague, begin by introducing yourself. Don’t get afraid to introduce yourself. Have eye contact with them and simply say “hi.”
To make the conversation as natural as possible, you can ask them about their job role. Next time you run into the person, you can discuss more topics, and before you know it, you’ll be discussing weekend plans.
After meeting coworkers within your department, seek out people outside of it. You may find people with similar interests and great connections within your company.
Learn and use their names
Knowing your coworkers’ names and greeting them by name will enhance your working relationship. You can keep their name as references.
Using someone’s name shows them that you care about who they are and want to get to know them. Additionally, it helps you remember their name and associate it with a face.
Use greetings and ask questions.
Your colleague can share greetings after you introduce yourselves. You can say “Hi” and “goodbye” when you come to shift and leave at the end to your coworkers. You can also have small talk through body language. You should, however, express yourself clearly to avoid miscommunications.
Further, ask some friendly questions such as their weekend plans, favorite hobbies, etc. Since you do these things, your actions make them feel that you care about them. And when you interact with people at work frequently, a natural conversation develops.
There is a saying that good food is an excellent way to anyone’s heart. So, if you want to make friends in the office, share some good snacks with them.
You can offer a treat to your coworkers by bringing them baked food. You can share that at launch or spare time with your team.
It’s also a good idea to invite your team members into your house and hang them out. Your colleagues will notice your efforts and thank you personally.
Involve in team activities
Feel free to join a team activity. Good company cultures arrange both in-work and out-of-work activities. If these events are during working hours, you must participate in them.
Out-of-work gatherings, on the other hand, are not mandatory. However, to make work friends, participation in them is essential.
If you join these outdoor events, you can get the perfect moment to meet people you can interact with directly in your work.
Plan activities outside the office
If the company is not organizing outdoor social activities, plan it yourself or suggest it to your supervisors. A brewery outing after work or a restaurant group dinner is a good option. You can talk about non-work topics and get to know each other personally.
Work in Shared areas
It is difficult for a remote worker to work in a shared workplace. However, on-site workers can easily work in a collaboration area.
Almost every workplace has a common area for employees. Set up your laptop for a few hours to build on existing relationships or open up to new interactions.
✔️ Check Out: Create Work from Home Workspace
Decorate your desk
You can personalize your work area or desk by adding pictures or characters. You can show your hobbies and real personality by hanging pictures, placing plants, and adding small trinkets.
It should be something that reflects something about you. It can be your family picture, your favorite actor, or anything.
Your co-workers might find some common things between you and them after seeing your eye catchy desk. If you are a remote worker, you simply need to move your décor behind you so that the Marvel poster is visible next time you are on Zoom!
Be positive and start with positive things.
When trying to make friends in the office, it’s essential to have a positive attitude. People love the positive personality and find it easy to discuss ideas.
Additionally, a positive attitude can inspire others to do the same. Share your positive experiences before sharing intimate details.
Since we place such a high value on first impressions, the first few conversations with colleagues are very important. People want to discuss your skills rather than any personal things.
When you share similarities, it’s easier to get connected. Colleagues can talk about shared interests, “whether they like the Yankees, watch HBO’s House of Cards, or raise kids around the same age.”
Soon, you’ll find that you have a lot in common over workplace issues as well. As a result, you can work together better, and your work may flourish.
📖Read More: 7 Reasons Why Your Team Fails In The Workplace
Connect on social media
Anyone’s Facebook profile can give you information about them. So, to get to know your colleagues better and become friends, it’s time to connect with them on social media. Further, you can get more comfortable with them once you chat on social sites.
Get in touch with them immediately by talking about the picture you saw on their feed. You can share your thoughts on it.
Find areas of common struggle.
An everyday struggle at work is one topic workers bond over. Coworkers facing the same challenges are more likely to support each other and discuss potential solutions when working collaboratively.
The two of you naturally form a strong alliance when you are on the same side, which makes connecting with others easier.
Offer to help
In terms of building work relationships, this is the most obvious lesson and it will be beneficial both professionally and socially. When someone reaches out to you for assistance, help them as much as possible.
It will positively impact your personality. So, another way to improve relationships in the workspace or make new friends, helping them where they struggle. Even if they don’t personally ask you for help, you can offer help to them. It can either solve issues they face in their new project or simply drop a mail.
Praise them for their success.
People like it when we are nice to them in the real world. Also, when people are kind to us at work, it feels good. You should congratulate coworkers when they perform well and get successful in their jobs.
It can be an outstanding presentation, becoming the best employee of the month, or a promotion recently received. Being supportive and communicating your support to your coworkers shows that you care and consider them a part of your team.
If someone gives you praise or boosts your ego, you generally feel drawn to them. Nevertheless, praise should always be genuine and given only when it is deserved – don’t just give credit for the sake of it!
Don’t force yourself to be friends with everyone.
It is a notable difference between being a friend and being friendly. You should remember that not everyone can be your friend even though you get friendly with them.
Consequently, you should not force yourself to befriend every coworker you encounter. Instead, you should focus on strengthening your friendships with those most meaningful to you. Even one good work friend can drastically improve your working life.
Ideas for setting boundaries in the office
While there are several benefits to creating and nurturing work relationships, it is equally important to ensure you set boundaries to maintain professionalism and company ethics. There are abundant benefits to having friends in the office.
It’s great to nurture work relationships. However, it is equally essential to maintain company ethics and professionalism. For that, you must set boundaries.
Further, you can’t put so much pressure on work friendships to make them lifelong friends. Let them grow and bloom naturally. Until then, follow the boundaries.
Here are a few ideas to help you maintain professionalism in your work relationships.
If you ask your coworkers very personal questions, they may feel uncomfortable, right? The same must apply to you.
You should not ask them personal questions or share them with them. In further days, they might use it against you. Also, it can go against company policy. So your main focus must be work. After all, you are there to work.
Avoid sharing your personal information until they become your close friends and you start trusting them.
Be aware of your role
Don’t mismanage the relationship with your work. It is okay if you are your boss’s and coworkers’ favorite. You can have fun with coworkers. But it’s not good to be too friendly at work with your boss during serious work topics.
You should be careful about your job title and the responsibilities that come up with it. You should manage your work carefully without favoring your friends. In a single sentence, keep your personal and professional life different.
Maintaining professional boundaries means your work friendship doesn’t have to suffer. Also, they can turn into life-long friendships.
Set time limits
As discussed earlier, be clear with your friends that your main focus is your job. You can have an excellent talk after office time or off-site. But at work, your priority should be your job. Otherwise, it would affect your career growth. Don’t make your friends workplace distractions.
Don’t share irrelevant conversations on official communication channels such as email or slack.
Avoid office and unprofessional gossip.
The topics such as religion, politics, crime, financial issues, and medical issues can bring some toxicity. So, you must avoid gossiping about them.
You should avoid passing negative comments about a teammate. It can harm your morale and make it difficult for you to create relationships.
Most workplace friendships are based on a mutual dislike or liking of someone, or something, within the company. But this friendship usually disappears when the friends change departments or companies. It proves that some friendship is just because of gossip.
Building trustworthy alliances mean avoiding office gossip. Likewise, don’t join in on any office gossip if you’re caught up in it. If you join in on the negative behavior, it can have negative consequences.
Respect others’ boundaries
You should give your coworkers their own space. Avoid asking too personal questions. Asking casual questions about family and interests can be an effective way to establish a working relationship. However, asking personal questions might make your coworker uncomfortable.
Are you trying to develop valuable relationships at work? Talking to a new person and making friends at work can be daunting for an introvert. Further, new work environments can be stressful. However, reading this article can help you to achieve that.
Remember that it takes time to make new friends and be kind to others and yourself. Take your time, and don’t force anything.
Even if you’ve tried all the tips above and still need to be able to connect with a single person at work, you shouldn’t force it. You might have completely different interests, which is fine! Keep your colleagues cordial as long as you can look past this issue.
Bhuwan Dahal leads timeTracko’s SEO team as its SEO manager. The SEO industry has been his focus for almost four years, and he has a strong focus on SAAS products and eCommerce.