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3 tips for turning colleagues into work mates

Author: Sam Shinners
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When you get home and reflect on your day at work, do you fondly recall the report you filed or the phone call you made to IT? No! Although these things happened, you remember that joke that Steve told you, the cake that Sarah brought in or that James is having a really tough time at home and he confided in you over coffee! Having friends in the office really does make our work day much more enjoyable.

According to the Friends in The Workplace Survey, 61% of workers would choose happiness at work over salary. Company culture and having friends in the office is a key contributor to job happiness! Let’s face it some of us have told our workmates our most personal secrets, Brian from accounting knows more about the mole you are worried about than your doctor does!

When you start a new job, it can be hard to make friends straight away, so here are 3 top tips on turning your colleagues... into work mates!

1. Get Involved!

Make sure you participate in social activities in the office! This could be joining or supporting the 5-a-side team, joining the book club, going for after work drinks with the team. It could just be offering to make a brew or sitting next to your potential work friend for lunch and starting a simple conversation (not about work!). By breaking the ice you will be feel more comfortable and confident around your colleagues

2. Find a common ground

Conversations that are non-work related are great for building friendships, so find out what your shared interests might be, ask questions, listen to conversations around the office. Before you know it, you may have an after-work gym partner or lunch buddy!

3. Don’t get drawn into politics

If there are office politics going on... don’t get drawn into the drama! Don’t engage with negative gossip or get involved in any cliques. Hopefully you are in a work environment where this sort of thing doesn’t happen. You should focus on engaging with your colleagues in a positive way and that is how you will make more meaningful work friendships.

Having friends at work makes it not only more enjoyable, but increases productivity, creativity and engagement. By building relationships with your colleagues, you can enjoy sharing your day with people you can rely on and get more fulfilment out of your job!

Sam Shinners is the Marketing & Social Media Executive at Forward Role. She can be found tweeting @ForwardRole and on LinkedIn.

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