It’s hard to be the new kid on the block, where everyone else has known each other for years. It can be even harder on the job, when everyone is also busy working, trying to impress the boss, or even competing for the same promotion.
Don’t let any of that stop you from trying to develop workplace friendships. Working is a lot more fun — and productive — if you’re doing it with friends. In fact, many companies are learning to encourage team camaraderie, because it leads to greater employee engagement and commitment to quality.
Here are some tips for getting to know your colleagues.
Say hello to everyone.
It only takes a second to smile and say hi whenever you pass someone in the hall. You never know, that person could be a great future friend.
Share break time.
Sit down with team members in the break room, or invite them out to lunch. When you’re more relaxed and away from workstations, it’s the ideal time to learn about each other on a personal level or discuss non-work subjects.
Most people love to talk about themselves. What type of music do they like? Who’s their favorite sports team? Where did they get that great hairstyle?
Ask for help.
Team members are usually happy to help you learn the ropes or the latest office politics. This is a great way to start a conversation and benefits your job performance at the same time.
Add them to your social media.
This may be your comfort zone if you’re shy about making friends IRL. Comment on their posts and soon you’ll have a conversation going.
Find a common interest.
If you both like running marathons or attending Comicon, you’ll always have something to talk about, and a reason to get together outside of work.
Take it outside.
Go out together for happy hour or a movie. In some companies, this is a regular practice among team members. Make sure that you’re part of the group at least some of the time.
Bonding with co-workers can enrich your life far beyond the workplace. It may not happen with everyone, but if you make the effort, you just may find a new BFF.