8 Easy Ways To Make Friends At Work
No matter your job, it can be hard to make friends at work. However, having workplace friends is important for your professional development and health. You’ll be more satisfied with your job when you have a support system there. Even if you don’t get along with everyone at work, having just a few friends can make the difference between work frustration and fulfillment.
Having friends at work can boost your motivation and may offer you the opportunities to network and grow in your career. Having a sense of being surrounded by other people who are working alongside you can also make work tasks feel less daunting. Though it can be hard for introverts to make friends in the workplace, there are a lot of ways that you can still succeed at it. Whether you’re very social or if you struggle with meeting new people, here are ten fool-proof ways to make new friends at work.
1: Decorate Your Workspace
At the office, your workspace is your own little corner of the world. When you start a new job, try to take some time and make your work area more personal. Bring in your favorite mug, little trinkets to keep you company at the desk, or maybe even a photo of a pet or family members.
Having little indicators of yourself in your workplace makes you appear more approachable and provides opportunities for others to start a conversation with you. If a coworker comes to speak with you, they might ask about your pet or hobbies if you have some indication of those things in your work area. It can be a surprisingly good conversation starter and an easy way for you to make new friends with very little effort.
2: Introduce Yourself
One of the most simple yet effective ways to meet new people is to simply introduce yourself to them. It might feel awkward, but it’s worth it to just go ahead and introduce yourself to your colleagues. When you take the initiative to open yourself up to someone new, it establishes a sense of trust and can help others who want to get to know you better. This can pave the way for fulfilling, solid relationships at your workplace. Just start with small talk, like where you’re from, why you joined the company, and what you’re looking forward to. Make sure to also listen to your coworkers when they tell you about their interests and aspirations. You might find someone that you really hit it off with.
3: Find Common Interests
A lot of friendships are built on the foundation of shared interests or ideals. This is also true in the workplace. When conversing with coworkers, take the time to mention what you’re interested in, and you might find someone responding that they are interested in the same things. Ask your coworkers whether they have any plans after work. Inquire about what they did over the weekend. Once they mention a hobby or activity that piques your interest, you’ll have something in common to discuss. You can share your own experience with your coworker and you may even end up planning an activity together.
4: Ask Work Related Questions
When you’re stumped and trying to tackle a challenge at work, remember that you don’t have to do it alone. You’re at an office with plenty of other people who might also be struggling or have the same question. It can help to solve problems together, so don’t hesitate to ask the people in your department for their perspective. This can help strengthen your professional bonds as you exchange ideas and brainstorm together. It opens avenues for future discussion and conversation.
5: Create A Work Chat
Most workplaces have a Microsoft Teams or Slack site, where you can discuss work related matters or keep in touch with office updates. It might be worth looking into the chat to see if there is an off topic chat channel, where informal conversation can occur between you and your colleagues. If not, you can take the initiative to make one. The chat would provide you and your coworkers with opportunities to talk about their interests, share pictures of their family and pets, and talk about their day. This can provide a great foundation for more conversation and give you and your coworkers a break from the stress of work. Just be sure to check with your boss that your workplace allows for that as some offices have certain restrictions about workplace chats and generally, it may seem inappropriate in workplace culture.
6: Eat Together
Lunch time is one of the few times you may actually get to talk to your coworkers during the work day without affecting work productivity. Take the initiative and ask your coworkers to grab some lunch with you. This can be especially great if you’re new to the area and will provide you with opportunities to scope out local eateries and parks. It can also be a pleasant experience that will allow you to get to know your coworkers better and find things you have in common. That can be anything from the small talk you make while eating, to your favorite foods and favorite places to eat. Once you get to know your coworker a little better, lunch dates can become a weekly occurrence and can give you both something to look forward to.
7: Attend Work Events
Many companies hold various events throughout the year as a break from the stress of office life and to help workplace teams get to know each other better. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the office calendar and ask your coworkers if they have any more information, so you can take the opportunity to sign up for whatever interests you. These events are a great way to get to make friends at work while out of the office environment. It also shows your coworkers and bosses that you’re involved in the work culture.
8: Be Authentic and Respectful
Whether you choose to invite coworkers out to lunch or ask them for help with something work-related, it’s important to keep in mind that people will give back what you give them. When you talk about yourself, take the time to listen to your coworkers too. Ask them questions and be receptive to their answers. It’s also important to keep in mind that some people may have personal boundaries that you do not want to cross suddenly, and it’s best to let friendships flow naturally so that everyone is comfortable.
Making new friends in the workplace is similar to making new friends in the real world. Once you find a similar interest with one of your coworkers, it’s easy to build a connection, especially if you’re seeing them regularly in the office. It can be a little tricky to navigate the social etiquettes of a professional environment as each workplace may have a different set of rules and expectations on how employees interact with each other. However, as long as you remain respectful in the workplace and stay productive during work hours, there’s no reason not to try and make new friends in the workplace.
If you’re looking to make new friends outside of the office, the Passionfruit app allows you to meet people based on similar interests. Once you create an account and list your favorite hobbies and activities, you can match with other profiles who share your passions. Once you make a meaningful connection with someone who shares your interests, it’s easy to build a meaningful and long-lasting relationship.