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Having friends at work can increase job satisfaction, performance, and productivity. In fact, some of the most genuine relationship you can gain is probably coming from work place. Don’t give a blank face and keep distance with your colleagues, knowing how to make friends at work may be one of the most crucial social skill. In this article, BestLifeTips will make it clearer about friendship at work and some tips for making friends.
Work colleagues are not your friends?
Is that the question stuck in your head when it comes to making friends at your new office? You are not alone. There are several ideas against building true friendship at work.
According to Amy Cooper Hakim, an industrial-organizational psychology practitioner and workplace expert, it’s better to stay friendly and nice than to be friends with your colleagues. “You don’t need to be best buds. You want to be kind, professional and nice. But we don’t need to tell every person at work our deep dark secrets, and long-term goals and dreams.”, Hakim says.
Sharing too much information about your personal life and finances can lead to trouble. Especially when it comes to financial related issues, it’s easy to change the direction to income and bonus, which is sensitive and controversial in the working place.
Moreover, friendship at work probably gives you more confusion or even discomfort when it comes to promotion. You don’t want to feel guilty about qualifying for a promotion and winning it. The dynamic of a relationship, however, shifts when one of the friends is promoted. It’s job status, positions and relationship that decide how open, transparent and genuine we are in the friendship with colleagues. Especially to managers or leaders, it’s even harder to maintain a friendship. You surely don’t want to be said to give someone advantage or to become too easy with them.
Friendship at work
It may sound a bit terrible for having friends at work? Don’t panic. True friendship is essential to our long-term professional success, as well as our health and happiness. Friendship fulfills our basic human need for a sense of identity, purpose, trust, and fulfillment. Yet, since we want to separate our needs at work from those at home, we often overlook our coworkers as friends.
Healthy social interactions at work will help you be more productive, feel more passionate about your job, and be less likely to leave — and these are just a few of the possible benefits, according to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report.
The importance of workplace friendships
Why is it important to make friends at work? Check out this infographic from Officevibe, which shows how strengthening social bonds with colleagues will improve everyone’s productivity.
- Friendship enhances your performance
Workplace friendships can boost efficiency, which may seem surprising at first. According to a Gallup survey, two-thirds of women said that the social aspect of their job is a “big factor” why they work, and women who strongly agree that they have a best friend at work are more than twice as likely to be engaged productively (63%) as women who disagree (29%).
Making friends with coworkers outside of their immediate teams or departments exposes people to aspects of the industry that they would not otherwise be able to see. This will aid in developing a more holistic view of the company’s goals, how other divisions function, and revealing some of the organization’s pressure points. In other words, it helps people flourish in a company by learning about and appreciating each other’s experiences.
- Friendship improves working environment
Although work friendships can be difficult, stressful, and exhausting, they are essential to our success and survival. They can cause conflicts, but those conflicts may result in game-changing ideas. As teammates disagree respectfully, their differing points of view will clash to produce a stronger concept, solution, or creativity. They can put us in difficult circumstances, but those situations help us mature and learn. We will appreciate the camaraderie, support, and motivation that positive work relationships have to offer as long as we avoid toxic managers, coworkers, and environments.
- Friendship leads to higher engagement level
Friendship has the potential to increase engagement rates. People who have a “best friend at work” are more likely to be engaged at work. Coming to work becomes less of a duty and more of a pleasure. It provides yet another incentive to become involved in developing one’s workplace culture.
How to make friends at work at office
It’s time for you to go out of your comfort zone and make friends. It may sound a bit frustrated but don’t put it too hard on yourself. Not everyone is good at socializing, just make some moves as below suggestions and remember, it’s best to be yourself.
- Be the first to say hi
This is a simple one, however many people forget (or are so scared) to do it. Often, reaching out to someone is all that is required to open a line of communication and begin a friendship. Simply saying hi or bye would always make a coworker doing the same to you the next time.
- Ask more questions
If you’re new to the company, you must take the initiative to meet new people. Discuss the weather, local sports teams, and current events. If possible, don’t be shy to ask questions. ‘Can you suggest a local restaurant?’ ‘Is there a nearby supermarket?’ or ‘What is your favorite thing to do downtown on the weekend?’
- Connect with them on social media
Knowing what the other person likes is one of the first steps in becoming friends. This is now simpler than ever thanks to social media. Once you’ve become friends with a coworker on Facebook or Twitter, keep an eye on your timeline for his or her updates. Don’t be afraid to leave a comment or, if possible, re-share or re-tweet. When you talk to them in person about an image you saw on their feed, you will instantly establish a connection.
- Discover interests in common
Conversation can flow more easily until you know what to chat about with others. It can only take one shared interest to form the foundation of a good friendship. Soon, your shared interests will have you bonding over workplace issues. You will be able to work better together, and your work will benefit as a result.
- Be confident
When you’re nervous, people can feel it. When one of you is speaking, make eye contact with your coworker. This is one way to show them that you are “present” and that you do not find them boring or intimidating. All of this is part of communicating to your colleagues that you care about and like them.
- Avoid negativity
Maintain a good attitude. Most people dislike being around people who are always negative. Furthermore, researchers have discovered that when you say nice things about other people, people appear to remember you as having the same positive qualities. For example, if you tell a new coworker that your previous boss is a friendly and helpful person, they will most likely remember you as friendly and helpful as well.
- Join work events
It’s common for groups of workers to gather at a local coffee shop or restaurant at the end of the week. Some businesses will plan outing activities for their employees. Make an effort to attend at least some of these activities. It may be similar to going to work, except that no one would be as serious and there would be very little actual work. There may even be some alcohol available, which may aid in getting to know coworkers.
How to make friends at work during covid
Most of us may get used to with the term of working from home since pandemic. We cannot interact with other colleagues as usual and seem not to reach them out. Actually, there would always be a way to make friends during covid. Make more effort and refer to below suggestions.
- Make time to talk
Schedule time to communicate with the people on your list, or seize opportunities that occur during the day. If you’re already talking with someone, look for ways to prolong it, such as asking to continue on a call for another 10 minutes after you’ve finished discussing business. Start a virtual book or podcast club, or invite a coworker to a virtual lunch.
Alternatively, you can end meetings by asking a sharing question, such as “What are your weekend plans?” or “Do you plan to learn something new in this time?” Learning more about your coworkers allows you to communicate with them later.
- Add them on social media
It’s always a great idea to befriend on social media first. You can learn a lot from others by their Instagram or Facebook, there would probably be some interests that you have in common such as brands, influencers, hobbies, etc. Comment, retweet or like their recent posts is a great way to start a conversation.
- Send them interesting content
Accordingly, once you are familiar with each other on social media, you can start by sending them some funny memes or any content that you both like. The conversation could go further and you may broaden the topics.
- Be positive
Everyone is depressed, and expressing a positive feeling towards others will help to strengthen bonds. During a call or video conference, you should make the person feel better about themselves and their work. This will entice them to engage with you more. Consistency is crucial because it helps replace what is missing from work, but the second most important thing is making the person feel happier about spending time with you.
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Making friends at work apparently is a crucial part of your professional life. They not only bring you joy in working but also heighten your engagement level and push your performance higher. Don’t miss it because you may find your besties at work place. BestLifeTips hopes this article will help you know how to make friends at work. Return often for more relationship useful tips.