One of the key components to being happy and fulfilled at work doesn’t necessarily have to do with your role specifically, but with the relationships you have with your co-workers. According to Workplace Friendship & Happiness Survey by Wildgoose, “57% of people say having a best friend in the workplace makes work more enjoyable, 22% feel more productive with friends, and 21% say friendship makes them more creative.” Having co-workers, you enjoy interacting with is important for improving your productivity and lowering stress. Most employees spend 40+ hours at work and co-workers can easily become friends outside the office. Since building workplace friendships is key to being happy at work, here are some recommendations for strengthening the relationships with your co-workers.
Get To Know Them
Discovering shared interests and commonalities is an easy way to spark workplace friendships. Some possible topics to explore might include similar tastes in movies/TV shows, music, weekend hobbies, sports, podcasts, books, or even hometowns and travel. When you are a new employee getting to know your co-workers, ask them to tell you a bit about themselves, you may find you have a lot in common. Likewise, if a new employee joins your team, find out a bit more about them and what they are interested in outside the office.
Be Positive and Open
If you are constantly stressed and negative while working, it’s likely you won’t be seen as a friendly person for other people to approach and reach out to. While everyone has bad days now and then, try to overall bring a positive and open/receptive presence to your work environment. Not only will this help you with building better friendships at work, but will also help you overall in your career.
Bring Food or Drinks
Most people love free food, so if you physically work in the office, think about bringing coffee or baked goods for breakfast. In an article on Indeed, they recommend that you “Leave the treats in the break room with a small note, or bring them around the office and hand them out in person. Either way, your colleagues may want to thank you personally, providing a great opportunity to chat with new people. It might even inspire others to trade off on who brings the coffee or food in the future.”
Say Yes to Team Building Events
If your company has team-building events or social groups, be open to joining and participating. By engaging with your co-workers more frequently, you’ll naturally start to strengthen those relationships and workplace friendships will likely happen organically.