A Guide To Making Friends At Work
Studies abound on how friendship at work can make employees more productive, motivated, and loyal to the organization. It equally inspires greater engagement and creativity, which could be beneficial to one’s career. Friendship among workers also creates a pleasant atmosphere for not just those working, but clients and visitors as well.
As desirable as friendships with coworkers are, building this kind of relationship is not as easy as it first appears. It is important not to rush into friendship especially when new at a place, try and build good rapport and trust with a coworker before diving into a full-fledged friendship. A job is a long-term commitment, and you are likely to be around for a while. So take your time, observe and be open-minded and a like-minded colleague will come around.
Making friends in a work setting will also require you to conduct yourself in a manner that will make you endearing to colleagues; because the only way to really make a friend is to be one. Be courteous, civil, and respectful to everyone you come across, you never can tell you will find someone interesting. As much as office friendship is beneficial to the firm, so also is it to a worker, so do not isolate yourself while in a new working environment because you will definitely need a workplace ‘shoulder’ at times.
Tips For Making Workplace Friends
If you are new to a job, your initial priority will be learning as much about your new role as possible. But that should not stop you from setting time aside to interact and connect with colleagues. Good work friendship is a key factor to how long you will want to stay in a job, and how well you will enjoy being at work. You will be on a sure path of making office friends if you will;
- Always be yourself: Being yourself is the number one way to build successful friendships, try and indulge your colleagues in things you are interested in, they might find it interesting too, talk about the sports team you support, perhaps someone in the office is also a fan. Building a relationship based on common interest will go much further than manufacturing a connection just to be admired. Have a positive attitude always, avoid groaning when given a task, and be a good team player, people around will want to be my friend.
- Introduce yourself to colleagues: Most times, people make the mistake of not introducing themselves when they first come in contact with a new person. It is practically impossible to make friends without introducing yourself. Don’t get into the office for the first time, and go straight to your desk and start working; you can’t make any friends at work with that attitude. Take the time to greet those within your immediate working area; a simple “Hi, my name is Suleiman” should do.
Do not interrupt a task or a conversation while trying to introduce yourself, you will have another chance. After the introduction, don’t try to start a conversation, your colleague will indulge back if he or she is interested in a conversation, or too busy for one. A brief response in this regard means no harm, mind you is a working environment.
- Find colleagues of common interest: Figure out your coworkers’ interest and passion, you can get clues from the pictures on their desk, the mugs they use, their favorite meals for lunch, or even the wallpaper on their PCs. Sports as a universal passion brings people close, if you are a fan of the same team with a colleague or interested in the same sport, try and spark up a conversation about recent games. Stay away from talks of politics and religion, due to their sensitivity, they could earn you enemies.
- Be conscious of their inputs: You may choose to invite a colleague for lunch or a social event at weekend. After extending your invitation, your co-worker may decline. Your focus should not be on the answer but instead on how it was answered. If they give a reason why they can’t make it, keep them in mind for next time. And if they blankly say no, respond warmly, thank them for their time and move on. Nobody wants to feel pushed. Take rejection in stride, some people just aren’t compatible as friends.
- Do not rush into the friendship: It usually takes time to build workplace friendship. There is no need to rush into adding colleagues on social media, inviting people for hangouts, or asking them very personal questions without getting along with them first. If you find a colleague interesting, take your time to cultivate a lasting relationship. Rushing might end up pushing people away from you.
- Engage with your co-workers: Taking time to engage with co-workers in the office by asking them questions and being genuinely interested in their responses will definitely earn you friends in the workplace. Most people need someone that will listen to them to talk about their interest, their children, and their families if given the opportunity, and once they get comfortable, they will not mind opening up about issues that are very personal to them. Being engaging will no doubt be a dependable person for these kinds of discussions.
- Do not overshare: It is quite helpful to have a colleague that you can confide in but set limits on what you divulge. Colleagues can quickly label someone a friend when such a person will just fit in as an acquaintance. Keep in mind that any shared information could be used against you in the future. Having a good relationship with someone doesn’t automatically make them your friend. Try not to share with colleagues stuffs you cannot post on social media.
- Set and respect boundaries: Personal conversations are going to happen at work, but be conscious of co-workers’ workloads and schedules. The fact that you have friends at work should not make you spend more time on non-task-related activities, let work remain your priority. Be equally conscious of your role in the office, for instance as the head of the HR unit, you will be dealing with less grace for grey areas with work friends. So if you feel like being pulled into a deep conversation that you don’t have time for or are disinterested in, do not hesitate to speak up or end it.