Whether you’re a new hire or an experienced employee, you know that building good relationships with your coworkers is essential to your success. But did you know that bonding with your coworkers can enrich your work day, improve your productivity, and motivate you to go to the office every morning? Instead of taking your workmates for granted, try these simple tactics to form a special bond with the people around you.
1. Say “Hello” every morning
Sounds like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? But how many times have you come into the office, hung up your coat, and turned on your computer without even noticing the people sitting right next to you? It doesn’t matter if you slept poorly or you missed your train or your dog ate your new sneakers: your colleagues deserve (and desire) your recognition. Saying “Hi, how are you? My fool dog ate my running shoes!” is a great way to greet your coworkers and inject a little humor into what might turn out to be a more pleasant day than you originally thought.
2. Ask questions to discover common interests
That guy at the desk in the open space next to yours? The one you’ve never spoken to? He might just be a total online gaming fanatic like you are. And the woman with the spiky haircut who drops off your mail? She might be a dog lover and a runner. Just like you. Starting a casual conversation with a colleague can lead to all sorts of surprises, like finding out you both secretly love tofu or opera. And shared interests are a great foundation for building a strong relationship.
Whether it’s deciding to go out for sushi instead of eating lunch at the canteen, or making plans to meet up for a drink after work, socializing with your coworkers is a fun way to connect with them and start the bonding process off right. By engaging with your colleagues, you’ll soon find your office life improves as a result. Just try to stay moderately sober to avoid any red faces the next morning!
4. Don’t tattle to the boss!
Unless you have a legitimate complaint, such as a bullying colleague, think twice about complaining to the higher-ups. Negative experiences in the workplace are common. Many affect all of your team members. Open up and talk things through with your coworkers to find a constructive solution before resorting to talking to management.
5. Offer to help
If you’re not swamped but your coworkers seem to be, ask what you can do to assist them. If their tasks aren’t in your domain, offer to take orders for coffee or for lunch. Small showings of generosity like these endear you to your colleagues and strengthen your bonds as a team. And it’s a win-win deal, because when you’re the one who’s swamped, your coworkers will step up to the plate for you!
6. Be patient
Strong working relationships won’t flower overnight, but with patience, they’ll grow. Give your coworkers time to adjust to you. Avoid being overfriendly. Just show them you’re interested in them both as colleagues and as individuals, and you’ll soon see positive results. It may take a little time, but you might discover that your colleagues will become some of the best friends you’ll ever make!