Friendships make life more meaningful. They give you someone to rely on, confide in, and have fun with. Friends can also help you reduce stress, make you feel more connected and supported, and increase your overall happiness.
Since you spend roughly 40 hours a week at work, befriending your coworkers can really change how you feel about your job for the better.
Why It's Important to Have Friends at Work
Major Morale Booster
Your work community is there to help you through your ups and downs, and you can always rely on them for a laugh or a listening ear. These relationships make it feel like you're part of something bigger and working towards a common goal together.
Encourage Your Growth
These relationships expose you to new ideas and different perspectives that you may not have otherwise been exposed to. Your friends can help challenge you and push you out of your comfort zone, which can lead to both personal and professional growth.
Friendships can help strengthen your commitment to your team, motivating you to perform at your best. This greater sense of responsibility to one another can lead to increased productivity for both you and your team.
How to Make Friends at Work
Starting a new job can often feel like the first day at a new school. How are you supposed to make friends when it seems like everyone already knows each other? Fortunately, you've got help! Here are my tips for finding community in a new workplace.
Get Involved in Company Events
Happy hours and holiday parties are both great ways to connect with your new teammates, but it doesn't have to end there! If your company offers any volunteer opportunities or team-building exercises, sign up and get involved.
Enjoy Your Breaks Together
You can never go wrong by suggesting a team lunch or coffee break. It gives you a chance to catch up with your coworkers and get to know them on a personal level while at work.
Don't Shy Away From Small Talk
Small talk may feel artificial, but making an effort to engage in casual conversation with your coworkers can go a long way - you never know what you might end up having in common!
Be Positive and Be Yourself
Be positive, upbeat, and most importantly, be yourself! If you're genuine and make an effort to get to know the people you work with, making friends at your new job will be a breeze.
How to Make Friends in a Remote Work Environment
Remote work has rapidly become the norm, but that doesn't mean you can't still benefit from workplace friendships! Trust me, everyone needs a Slack buddy, and you'll still be doing plenty of collaboration through virtual tools.
Join or Create Some Virtual Team-Building Activities
Remote happy hours are totally a thing and a great way to connect with your coworkers outside of work. If your company doesn't already have something like this in place, suggest it! You can use video conferencing tools to play games or do some fun activities together.
Make an Effort to Spend Virtual Time Together
Just because you're not in the same physical location doesn't mean you can't find ways to bond with your coworkers. See if anyone is interested in starting a book club, virtual lunch group, or even just scheduling regular 15-minute coffee break check-ins to catch up.
Find Your Common Interests
Make time before or after meetings to share a fun fact about yourself and encourage your teammates to do the same. Maybe you're both dog parents, fans of the same sports team, or share a love for the same TV shows. You'll never know until you get everyone to open up!
Be Patient and Give It Time
Building friendships takes time, so be patient and keep at it. You may not become best friends with everyone at your company overnight, but making an effort to connect with your coworkers can pay off in the long run. You will find your community!
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