Starting a new job can be overwhelming and making friends in the workplace comes easy to some, but others may struggle. Having friends at work is important – with a new workload and a new boss, you need some teammates.
Do you have friends at work? If not, don’t worry; we’ve looked high and low across the web for the best advice on making these connections in the workplace. Whether you are new at work or just feeling left out, these are the top five tips for forging friendships with your fellow associates.
1. Observe the Company’s Culture
An organization’s culture is a true reflection of its attitude and behavior and its employees. After you start your job, check out the spoken and unspoken rules for the ways that people operate in the workplace. Listen carefully to what is happening in your orientation and training period. Watch and listen to how people interact (via email, phone, and chat) and begin to emulate other people. Remember, you don’t have to like everyone you work with. Making a few frenemies in the office will open doors for you too.
2. Say Good Morning
Take the time to say good morning or hello every day. Remember to add a smile! 😊 Many complain when their co-workers don’t acknowledge them in the morning. For some, this can truly be hurtful, and it can create a barrier between co-workers. Sometimes the best way to get to know your co-workers is by taking initiative. Be open to introducing yourself to new faces you see around the office, and don’t be afraid to strike up small talk. Learn your co-workers’ names and use their name when speaking to them – it will leave a positive impression from the start.
3. Offer to Be Helpful
Random acts of kindness will usually do the trick. Many of us get so wrapped up in our work and we don’t have much time or energy to consider what is going on with our colleagues. The best way to fit in at work is to have your colleagues’ back! Even if it is outside your job description, offer a helping hand. Step up and give an overwhelmed colleague a hand with his or her project. Helping your colleagues strengthen your reputation could make you a sought-after addition to the team. Before you run down to grab a sandwich or coffee, ask if anyone else wants something, friendly gestures will go a long way.
4. Engage with Your Fellow Colleagues
Making friends at the office is simple if you take the time to truly engage with your colleagues by asking them questions and being genuinely interested in their answers. Do not say no to a works night out or function as it is one of the best ways to break the ice with people you haven’t previously chatted to. This might sound simplistic, but most of us are bad listeners. So, take the extra effort to pay careful attention to what they are saying. Most people love to talk about their interests, their families, or their animal babies if given the opportunity. People open up about what is important to them, making friendships form.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
It doesn’t always have to take a lot of effort on your part to get closer to a peer. Keep your questions open-ended. Avoid asking rhetorical questions as your co-workers could find that annoying. Remember to be polite when you are wanting to start a conversation or ask a question. Talk about the weather, local teams, and issues. If you’re new, ask questions, like: “Can you recommend a place to pick up a quick lunch?” Small conversation starter questions are always good to build relationships and help find common interests.