How to make friends at work?

Let’s face it; starting a new job can be quite overwhelming. You are suddenly spending a major portion of your day at a completely new place, with a new set of workloads, new faces, and a new boss. Why not add a few new friends to the list? Based on a survey conducted by Gallup, employees having best friends at work tend to be seven-time times more productive than those who don’t. They produce a higher quality of work as well as maintain higher well-being.

Having friends matter!

Mastering the art of making friends at work can be tough indeed. But that most certainly does not mean you hide behind your desk and isolate yourself from everyone. Recent studies show that having a strong human connection, especially at our workplace, is a fundamental need for all. After all, being a social species, it is in our nature to thrive best when surrounded by the company of others.

For some, learning how to make friends at work is like the jovial dance of belonging. Others may describe it as the epic journey of finding the connection and love that comes with having those around you who care. To help you ease the transition into your new workplace, here are a few tips that’ll help you get off on the right foot.

Conquer the fears in your mind

The first step towards making friends at work begins with knowing yourself and your fears.

For many of us, just the mere thought of walking up to someone and introducing yourself can sometimes be so overwhelming that it takes us into a state of mental fear and apprehension. As a result, we unknowingly end up blocking ourselves from even giving it a try. So, how does one conquer their fears? It’s easy: face the fear head-on. That sounds pretty scary, but that is the nature of fear.

Truth be told, any long-lasting relationship (including friendship) is built on stronger values as opposed to the words you use or the things you do. At the end of the day, if you come across people who simply judge you on what you say or do, then chances are that they are probably not worth wasting your time and energy.

Woman sitting at desk alone

Introduce Yourself

A major step in learning how to make friends involves stepping outside your comfort zone.

Remember, you can’t expect to make any real friends if you simply choose to just sit by yourself at your desk all day. So step out of your comfort zone. Start by taking advantage of the free time spent with your co-workers. Whether it is in the kitchen or those few minutes by the cooler or even in the elevator. 

Start with the small talk; ask them about their favorite team or places to shop for an upcoming meeting. You have to start somewhere. While you’re at it, instead of just enjoying the experience, focus on making meaningful conversations and participate constructively. Soon you come across people with whom you have more in common, you will eventually start to get to know them better and be able to make friends at work.

Share outside of work

Once you cross the stage of being friendly at work, don’t limit yourself to work. Plan an outing after your shift. This may be something as simple as grabbing drinks after work, catching a movie together, or even a visit to the mall. The key is to build upon that foundation that you have laid down with your new friend.

Group of friends sitting at a table outside

Employees having friends at work tend to be seven-time times more productive than those who don’t.

Building lasting relationships

Building friendships is a process; one that requires patience. You are probably going to be around the same group of people every single day for the years to come. There is no need to rush into adding people to your social media or planning trips with them if you have known them for just a few days. It’s better to take time and develop lasting relationships. Rushing into making friends at work will only scare your co-workers away instead of doing the opposite. So take your time and do it right!

Read More: How to be more productive at work?

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