HR How-To: How To Make Friends at Work

by Frank Roche on August 19, 2010

in Careers, Communication, Cool, Culture, Engagagement

Your boss isn’t out to get you. And your coworkers aren’t enemies in your race to the top. But if you’re stuck in this mindset, chances are it’s because you don’t have friends in the office. The good news is that bridging the gap between strangers and friends is easier than you think. Here we’ll show you five easy ways to make work better by making office friends.

1. Organize outings.
On a hot day, wouldn’t you just love an afternoon ice cream break? The next time you get an urge to take an afternoon break, go for it. And invite others along, too. You’ll realize you weren’t the only one itching to get out of the office for a few minutes.

2. Be the one to help out in a pinch.
We all have the kind of days when we don’t even have time to take a break for a quick bite to eat. But the next time you see one of your coworkers in over her head, don’t just walk on by and snicker to yourself. Stop by her desk. Ask if there’s anything you can do to help her out—even if it just means picking up an extra sandwich at the cafeteria.

3. Say goodbye to that “strictly business” email nonsense.
Just because you like to keep your work email separate from your personal one doesn’t mean you have to be all business all of the time. The next time you see an article, Woot shirt or a funny xkcd you think a coworker would enjoy, don’t hold yourself back. Just don’t turn into the guy who sends out 10 emails a day.

4. Ask about their day. And mean it.
That means you can’t stop at, “Hi, how are you?” It means remembering what they told you the day before and following through the day after. This shows you were actually listening and that you actually care. You’ll notice it’s a lot easier to understand why a coworker may be underperforming when you know their 18-year-old cat just died.

5. Share things.
More things than your stapler, that is. The next time you read a good book or buy a new CD, bring it into the office and pass it along. Sharing personal items brings a personal touch to your office relationships—not to mention expose you to some cool things you haven’t heard of before.

Here’s the bottom line: If you really want to enjoy your job, you have to appreciate the people. Having friends in the office is just one easy way for you to make work better.

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