We, humans, are social beings. This means in one way or the other interactions and relationships are important to us. Whether it’s with the family at home or the family we create at work, a great deal of how we feel depends on what happens around us. This is why it’s important that we always try to do our best to create a comfortable environment where thriving is made easy.
If you have close friends at work, you are more likely to show up every day with a smile on your face than with a sad smug. Considering how long you will spend in the work environment, a healthy social connection is important for effectiveness – even if it’s remote work. New workplace friendships are one of those small changes that can cause BIG transformations. When done and maintained properly, these friendships have the ability to promote a sense of fulfillment and job satisfaction.
While it’s common to hear some say they want to keep their personal and professional life separate, ensuring the right work environment is non-negotiable. This is why it is always in your best interests to have good friends at work. Through your meaningful and friendly relations, all parties involved benefit and the company as a whole is strengthened. And in the end, they don’t have to be your bestie for ever and ever – but having someone to talk to at work can bring a whole new level of positivity to your workday.
Now, it’s not out of place to find yourself struggling to make friends when you start a new job. Perhaps, it’s your first time in such settings and you’re wondering how you can go about making workplace friendships. Even if you’ve been at your workplace for some time and you’ve only just identified the need to foster more relationships at work, not to worry guys and gals. This post will provide you with quality tips that will make you a magnet for new and quality friends at work in no time.
How To Make Friends At Work
For some, breaking professional boundaries seems like the hardest thing ever. This has kept many boxed in and has restricted them from having the best work life possible.
The absolute best advice we could give you is: don’t be afraid. It’s not as hard as it seems. The foundation of making friends at work is being open and having confidence. From there on, everything just starts to fall into place.
Before delving into the how, let’s first take a quick look at the why. There are a lot of benefits to having friends at work with real facts and research to back them up. Let’s look at some of these benefits before delving into the specifics of how to make friends at work.
Benefits of Having Friends At Work
Some of the benefits of having friends at work include;
Tips For Making Friends At Work
Introduce yourself to your colleagues.
Now that you’ve decided to come out of your shell and make new friends, start by introducing yourself to your colleagues. It helps to break the barriers of some professional boundaries (or, break the ice, if you will) and sets the ball rolling for closer relationships.
You might not be able to conveniently talk to every worker in your firm, but for those that you can, try to keep the introduction simple. Keep it basic with positive and welcoming body language. And luckily, there’s no need to go too deep into your personal life into what your best food is at this point. Just your name and a couple of additions on who you are and your role (especially if you’re new in the workplace) will do.
While you’re introducing yourself to your colleagues, do well to familiarize yourself with their names too. This is one of the most basic things that you can do to show your colleagues you’re open to friendship and to help create an all-inclusive workspace.
Engage in small talk.
Next, you will need to build on the introduction stage you passed by engaging in further conversations with some of your colleagues. One easy way to jump in is to take part in those “Monday Morning” conversations where you recall how the weekend went. Through this small talk, you get to know more about other people and know which ones you have similar interests with.
Aside from the close-knitted talks with one or two people, try to get in on the action in general discussions too. Those discussions about a celebrity, a movie, or a new trend where everyone is giving their views and opinion. Getting involved here makes it easier to get in with the regulars. And in no time you’re exchanging pleasantries along the walkway.
While this tip might not come naturally for some who are a bit laid back and don’t like public discourse, there’s still a way around it. The Career Contessa Podcast explains more about this specific tip in How to network for those who don’t love networking.
Participate in team activities.
Actively participating in team activities is a great way of making and maintaining friendships at work. Team activities at work include going to eat lunch together, attending work parties, participating in training, throwing recognition parties, hosting charity events, and even hitting happy hour when you clock out.
These activities make for a proper platform for personality assessment, communication, and employee engagement. They also help to deal with work-related stress and anxiety.
Actively participating in team programs helps in consolidating your relationship with your colleagues more. It sends the message that there is more to you than just work. More of your colleagues are likely to open up more to you after this as you now have joint experiences outside official work to reference in your discussions.
Add them on social media.
Social media creates another opportunity to make friends with your colleagues. We all know how life on social media works; it’s possible for you to have a close friend through social media interactions without acting on it IRL.
However, the aim of making friends at work through social media is to make friends at work. So, the friends you add online must be sustained at work too. Avoid keeping all your interactions online with little or no engagements physically at work. This defeats the purpose of the action as such a friendship might not offer the support system we are aiming for.
And of course, be sure you maintain professionalism during your interactions on social media. You can learn more about the do’s and don’ts that come with social media friendships HERE.
Be kind and helpful.
Being kind and helpful will certainly do you a lot of good in the business of making friends at work. Both are basic values that anyone who wants to achieve career satisfaction should possess and work on. It attracts people to you seamlessly, making the work of making friends less burdensome.
Plan non-work-related activities.
You could also take charge in your bid to make new friends at work by thinking outside the box. Planning non-work-related activities can be very useful in putting your face out there among your colleagues.
You can also draw out podcast topics to talk about with your friends to further strengthen your bond. It largely depends on you and your colleagues and what catches your fancy. When you orchestrate and plan such activities, it helps to boost your confidence in approaching your colleagues and making friends.
Avoid office gossip.
While navigating friendships at work, it is important to stay off unfounded rumors and gossip. They can be very damaging to one’s identity and push potential friends away, especially in a closed work environment with little workforce. Gossip spreads like wildfire and it not only affects those being spoken about, it affects those peddling it too. It’s certainly not a beautiful garment to put on and it’s not one of the benefits of female friendships.
Few people will be comfortable being friends with a known gossip. To put it bluntly, such persons are believed to not be trustworthy and dependable. So, do your best to steer clear of office gossip if you hope to have strong and healthy friendships.
Let’s face it – no matter where you work, you could probably use a friend.
Whether it’s to celebrate your success or be there for you when you’re in the midst of failure, good work friends can be the difference between dreading your workday and showing up eager and excited to tackle whatever the day brings.
After all is said and done, the decision to make friends at work rests solely on you. So, start out now and take the business of building strong friendships at work seriously. It will help to boost your confidence in your workplace, increase your productivity and excitement during work hours, and eliminate some of that self-doubt. And most importantly – it will remind you that you’re not alone at work.
There are also other beneficial podcasts on Dear Media that you can listen to for additional tips on this same topic. We have a wide range of hosts who weigh in on the importance of quality friendships and how to go about making and maintaining them. Be sure to also check out the other informative and educational articles on our blog that can help you through this process. You got this – we believe in you!