You found our list of ways to create work friendships.
Ways to create work friendships are means of building relationships with coworkers. For example joining clubs, bringing food, and arranging social events. These tactics are useful both for remote workers and in person at the office.
This article includes tips on:
- making friends with coworkers
- how to make friends at work when you are shy
- ways to make friends at a new job
- ways to connect with coworkers
Here we go!
List of ways to create work friendships
From hanging around the water cooler to taking coffee breaks to praising peers, here is a list of tips for making friends at work and getting along well with colleagues.
1. Attend Team Outings
Attending team outings is one of the quickest ways to make friends at a new job.
Organizations and HR departments often schedule regular team building activities such as team dinners, happy hours, and games to increase camaraderie among staff.Often, the company covers the expense of these outings, meaning you only need to invest your time and energy.
The event’s central activity gives you topics to discuss with coworkers you do not know well. The shared experience gives you a way to continue the conversation back at the office, laying the basis for work friendships. Not to mention, the more of these gatherings you attend, the more familiar other coworkers will be with you, and the more likely these teammates will reach out to strike up conversations.
Check out this list of team building activities.
2. Arrange Social Events
Regardless of whether or not your office hosts regular team building events, you can take the initiative to get coworkers together. For example, round up folks for a happy hour, check out a new restaurant together during lunch break, organize a TV watching party, or meet up at a local festival. You can invite colleagues you know would be interested and encourage these folks to spread the word and bring along other teammates. If your office has a company bulletin board or common space, then you can also hang a memo in these areas.
Since these are out-of-pocket events, you should try to keep costs low so that many team members are able to attend. However, some employers may offer to chip in and cover some of the expense upon noticing significant staff interest.
You can also arrange social events online by setting up Zoom calls to stream movies, host a writing workshop, or drink coffee and chat together.
Here are some ideas for virtual events.
3. Join Clubs
Companies often have clubs, be it professional meetups such as employee resource groups or committees, or social clubs such as running groups or gaming gatherings. Remote organizations can also have clubs in the form of Slack channels, forums, or recurring Zoom meetings.
These groups can be a great way to meet new colleagues with similar interests. Often, these gatherings provide opportunities to socialize with teammates in other departments. Plus, you can learn new skills and tips in the process.
If your company does not have any clubs, then you can take the initiative to start your own group.
4. Hang Around the Water Cooler
The office water cooler is one of the main areas for socialization. Friendships form faster when you continually put yourself in situations where bonding can happen, such as break rooms and other common spaces. Of course, you do not want to hang out in these areas to the extent that your work suffers or you gain a reputation for slacking off. However, you can make a point to swing by the vending machines or lounge on your way back from the bathroom or copy room, and join in conversation. If you work in a virtual environment, then check out the employee chats or message boards a couple of times a day, and engage with teammates’ posts, even if only via emoji or GIF.
Here is a guide to doing virtual water coolers in remote offices.
5. Say Hello or Good Morning
Saying hello or good morning is one of the best pieces of advice on how to make friends at work when you’re shy. A smile, wave, or quick hello does not take much social courage. In time, you can work up to small talk, and eventually, real conversations. However, beginning by saying hello or good morning, or by responding to other coworkers’ greetings is a good way to grow more familiar with teammates.
6. Ask Questions
People often enjoy talking about themselves. Asking personal questions is a hack for making fast friendships in the office. You can use a random question generator to come up with talking points, or can choose prompts from this list of get to know you questions. You can also ask follow up questions during the course of conversations, which will show you are listening and are interested in the discussion. Colleagues are likely to talk so you can prove yourself to be a good listener and communicator.
7. Share Interesting News
Sharing interesting news is one way to connect with coworkers. You can pass along articles on new scientific discoveries, fat bear naming contests, or crazy coincidences, for instance. You can also share personal news such as graduate school acceptances, buying a house, or your child nabbing a solo at the dance recital. You can announce these tidbits at the beginning or end of meetings or post the stories to a company wide chat thread. However, try to keep the conversation light and steer away from controversial topics like political discourse or crime.
Pro tip: Sharing “Florida Man” headlines is usually good for a laugh or two.
8. Bring Food
As the saying goes, “a way to a team’s heart is through the stomach.” Communal meals are one of the easiest ways to bring teams together. Feeding your coworkers is one way to win teammates’ favor. Plus, grazing in the break room offers team members a chance to chat and bond.
Putting out a bowl of candy on your desk is one of the best hacks to get coworkers to stop and chat. You can also bring baked goodies, pick up a dozen donuts on your way into the office, or order a pizza. Arranging a potluck is a low-cost way to dine with coworkers, and tends to drum up excitement among the staff.
If working on a remote team, then you can mail teammates goodies like home baked cookies or snack packs, or send credit to food delivery services like Goldbelly or Grubhub.
Treating teammates to a meal or snack helps to foster gratitude, which in turn encourages team members to return the favor or, at least, interact with you more regularly.
Here are some online cooking classes to improve your culinary skills.
9. Take Coffee Breaks
Grabbing coffee with a coworker is one of the easiest ways to connect with coworkers. Many professionals already take coffee breaks as part of the workday routine, and are happy to have company during this ritual. When in the office, you can invite a teammate along to a cafe, or can offer to grab a cup for a colleague. If working remotely, then you can schedule a quick Zoom meeting to have some face to face time with a teammate while you both enjoy your daily morning or afternoon caffeine boost.
Many offices encourage employees to take coffee breaks together, however if your company does not have a formal or informal coffee break program, then you can also reach out to colleagues with your own invitations to chat. This activity can be a way to welcome new hires, get to know teammates in other departments, or catch up with a coworker.
Here is a guide to virtual coffee breaks.
10. Offer Help
Offering help is one of the fastest means of making friends with coworkers. Doing favors for colleagues can rack up major goodwill and show your team members that you are generous and dependable. Regardless of whether or not teammates take you up on the offer, coworkers will be grateful for your willingness to lend a hand.
These acts could be as simple as offering to drop off mail on the way to run an errand, holding a door open, proofreading an email, or finding the answer to a question. If your schedule allows, then you can also offer to pitch in on larger projects. Offering assistance when you find yourself with downtime is a good habit.
Pro tip: Asking “how can I help?” is typically more effective and impactful than asking, “can I do anything to help?”
11. Support Coworkers’ Outside of Work Endeavors
Coworkers often share facets of their outside lives with the office. Supporting outside of work endeavors is one way to get into colleagues’ good graces. For instance, donating to charity fundraisers, purchasing children’s girl scout cookies, attending standup shows or concerts, visiting a coworker’s spouse’s business, or sending cards for birthdays, weddings, or graduations. The gesture can be as simple as talking the teammate up to the rest of the office, for instance, “Have you seen the table Ronaldo built by hand? It’s so beautiful, ask him to show it to you!” or “Lucille is a wonderful singer, check out her YouTube page!”
Taking an appropriate interest in coworker’s outside of work proves that you value peers as human beings beyond the scope of the office, and paves the way for friendships to blossom.
12. Praise Peers
Employee recognition is an important part of job satisfaction, and can also be a way to get closer to coworkers. Praising peers by giving genuine compliments and shoutouts is a great way to build relationships with colleagues. You can act as a megaphone to amplify coworkers’ awesomeness. Simply mention your coworkers’ help or accomplishments during a meeting or a conversation with another colleague. Or, give your teammate kudos in a public forum, such as posting a thank you or shout out in a group chat or channel or via employee engagement platforms.
The key to this exercise is to share sincere praise. Fluffed up flattery can make folks wary, however heartfelt sentiments are likely to break barriers and open the door to healthy working relationships.
Pro tip: Launch a peer-to-peer shoutout space where coworkers can thank and compliment each other.
The “I’m here to work, not make friends” mentality is a silly mindset because there is no reason that both results are not possible. In fact, professional friendships make work more pleasant and satisfying, and often boost productivity and performance. Having strong bonds with coworkers can also make the job easier, since teammates are usually more willing to cooperate with and help friends than strangers.
Making friends as an adult can seem difficult, and entering a new workplace can be intimidating. However, there are small steps you can take to lay the foundation for office friendships. Follow this simple advice, and you and your peers will be buddies in no time.