How to make friends at work


Do you have friends at work? You don’t have to be friends with everyone you work with, but building meaningful connections in the workplace improves collaboration, productivity, and job satisfaction. Additionally, your work environment becomes more positive and supportive when you have friends in the workplace. If you’re starting a new job or just haven’t made any friends at work yet, what can you do to connect with others and make a friend or two?

We recently asked our top leaders for their best tips for making friends at work.

Here are their answers…

Ana Smith, Leadership Development and Learning Strategist

Making friends at work, especially in a hybrid work environment, requires a combination of social skills, communication, and a genuine interest in others. Here are some expert tips to help you build strong friendships with your colleagues in a hybrid world:

  1. Participate in social activities: Participate in virtual and in-person social activities hosted by your company or colleagues. These might include team-building events, online coffee breaks, virtual happy hours, or in-person hangouts. Participating in these activities provides the opportunity to communicate with your colleagues in a relaxed setting.
  2. Active communication: Strive to communicate regularly with your colleagues, both online and offline. Use instant messaging platforms, emails, and virtual meetings to stay in touch with remote colleagues. In the office, take time to have informal conversations and get to know your colleagues personally.
  3. Express your interest in others: Show genuine interest in your coworkers’ lives, interests, and hobbies. Ask them about their weekend plans, hobbies, or any personal projects they are working on. Actively listening and remembering the details of their lives can help you strengthen your bond.
  4. Be approachable and friendly: Create an approachable and friendly attitude. Smile, use positive body language and be receptive to conversations with colleagues. A warm, welcoming attitude can encourage others to approach you and strike up conversations.
  5. Find common interests: Discover shared interests with your colleagues. Whether it’s a hobby, favorite TV show, or sport, having common ground can serve as a great conversation starter and strengthen your bond.
  6. Offer help and support: Support your colleagues and offer help when needed. Collaborating on projects or helping with challenges can create a sense of camaraderie and mutual respect.
  7. Organize informal gatherings: Take the initiative to organize informal meetings, whether it’s a virtual game night, lunch, or a casual walk during breaks. These gatherings can help foster a sense of community among colleagues.
  8. Respect the limits: When building friendships, it is essential to respect coworker boundaries and professional space. Some people may prefer to separate their personal and professional lives, so be attentive to their preferences.
  9. Celebrate milestones and achievements: Recognize your colleagues’ milestones and accomplishments. Congratulate them on their successes, both personal and professional, and celebrate special occasions like birthdays or work anniversaries.
  10. Be patient and consistent: Building meaningful friendships takes time, so be patient and consistent in your efforts. Continue to nurture your relationships and be willing to invest in maintaining those relationships.

Remember, making friends at work in a hybrid world requires adapting to different communication channels and being proactive in connecting with colleagues in person and remotely. By fostering a supportive and inclusive work environment, you can create lasting friendships that improve your overall work experience.

Ana Smith helps people and organizations reach their full talent potential by developing and co-creating people strategies and personalized solutions, and transforming them into impactful results and collaborative relationships, using coaching as a “common thread” .

Lisa Perry, Head of Global Marketing

Happy colleagues/friends at work

Image from Bigstock

Having that work buddy you can count on to vent to your boss or encourage those big wins is the best thing! Friends at work contribute to job satisfaction, collaboration, productivity and well-being. According to a Gallup survey, women who have a best friend at work are twice as likely to be engaged in what they do. Making friends with coworkers is a valuable skill that can improve your work experience and create a positive work environment. And above all, it can make you happy!

Here are some tips, whether you’re starting a job or want to make friends in your current role:

  • Promote accessibility and positivity: Creating a welcoming and approachable attitude is the first step to making friends at work. Greet coworkers with a warm smile, engage in small talk that conveys genuine interest, and avoid constant complaining or office gossip to maintain a positive atmosphere.
  • The power of small gestures: Start by learning people’s names and incorporating them into conversations to create a positive impact from the start. Then, invest your time in celebrating milestones such as birthdays, professional anniversaries, and personal achievements to show your appreciation to your colleagues.
  • Participation is key: Participate in a variety of activities, from team-building initiatives and company-sponsored events to informal social gatherings, as these opportunities provide a great avenue for building meaningful connections with your colleagues.
  • Shared interests as a connecting foundation: Look for common spaces that suit you and your colleagues. Whether it’s shared workplace challenges or common hobbies, these common elements can lay the foundation for nurturing meaningful connections.
  • Offer a helping hand: Support your colleagues by giving them a hand on projects. This collaborative effort highlights your teamwork abilities and provides a platform to foster true friendship in the workplace.

Incorporating these strategies into your workplace interactions can enrich your well-being, highlighting the importance of cultivating meaningful friendships at work.

Lisa Perry helps businesses build leadership brands, retain customers, and drive profitability. It achieves this through a process that builds the brands consumers love. Its goal is to help businesses grow, monetize and grow their brands.

How to make friends at work? Join the conversation inside Work It Daily Executive Program.

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