5 Easy Ways to Make Friends at Work (Plus One Bonus Tip!)
Does it feel like you spend a lot of time at work? You’re not alone. The average person works an average of 90,000 hours in their lifetime. With so much time spent working, it should be a priority to make those hours the best they can be, right? That’s where your coworkers come in. Studies show that close work friendships boost employee satisfaction by 50%. Whether you’re just starting a new job or are looking to make better connections at your current one, here are the easiest ways to make friends at work.
1. Start Things off Right
When you first meet people, make an effort to introduce yourself. Focus on the simple things like saying their name out loud, giving a good handshake, and remembering at least one specific detail about them. If you get nervous meeting people, that’s ok and is common. Just ask one or more of these questions:
- Where are you from?
- How long have you worked here?
- Do you have any kids? What school do they go to?
- Did you catch that recent game/movie/news report?
- Do you have any pets?
2. Everyone Loves TV & Movies
One of the easiest ways to make friends at work is to bond over a favorite TV show or movie. Find out what a coworker likes by asking them for a recommendation on what you should watch next. People love to talk about their favorite things, and will jump at the chance to discuss the first season of Stranger Things or to tell you why they enjoy Forrest Gump.
3. Share a Snack
People love food. Consider baking a secret family recipe pie or stuffing your favorite candy into a jar and put it in the break room at work. Add a note thanking your coworkers for a great first week, wishing them a happy first day of Autumn, or celebrating any recent holidays. Also, try and pack an extra snack when you pack your lunch for work so you can share with a coworker during your break. It’s a simple gesture, but one that people remember and appreciate for a long time.
3. Ask for Help
Asking for help can be a difficult thing. We feel like we should know how to do everything, and think that someone will judge us unfairly if we ask for assistance. But that is not the case in reality. Not only does asking coworkers for help make you better at your job, but it is a built-in bonding experience. When someone helps you do something, it raises their confidence and makes them feel good about themselves. This provides a great foundation for building a strong friendship.
4. Offer Help
Help works the other way as well, and it’s not just for new team members. If you see a coworker falling behind in a task, as long as it doesn’t put you behind, offer to help them catch up. Even if it means working during a few minutes of your break, it’s a surefire way to make friends. Helping can include doing something outside of the workplace for them, like grabbing an extra burger from Wendy’s on your lunch hour when you know they don’t have time to go themselves.
5. Think Outside the Workplace
Work friends often become best friends, and that transition happens easiest outside of work where people can relax and be themselves a bit more. Invite coworkers to an evening out bowling, for a Saturday night drink at a new brewery, or to join you for coffee one morning at your favorite diner in town.
6. (Bonus tip!) Always be Friendly
Sometimes the most important tip gets lost during the stress and grind of the work day. It’s easy to feel antisocial during a hard day, but that’s not the way to make friends. Whenever you are starting to have a bad day, recognize that your mood isn’t great and make an effort to be positive. You don’t need to go out of your way to start conversations with all your coworkers, but be friendly and responsive if they want to talk to you.
Do you have any tips for making friends at work? Share them in the comments below! And if you’re looking for a new job to put all these ideas to use, we can help. Just contact a Personnel Services office near you!