Socializing in office and expanding your social network makes sure you stay on the pleasant side of your professional life. So, how do you connect with co-workers and strike a good balance with your work and social life?
So, you have a new job, or perhaps it is your second career change, and you want it to be your best time. Whatever be the case, no matter how smart or easygoing you are, there always is the pressure of dealing with co-workers.
After all, you are spending a decent amount of time at work. So, it is extremely important that you share a good rapport with all those around you (if not all, at least a good few).
Unless you are enjoying a job that fuels your passion, being a lone soul in office may get toxic for your mental health. Connecting and socializing with co-workers is the first breakthrough towards liking your job and the workplace.
Having friends at work also helps you look up to a fruitful and healthy day in office. It keeps you active, inspires and motivates you, thus enhancing your outputs on the professional front.
Sometimes, a small conversation with your colleagues may loosen up the tension, and it is a smooth journey ahead every day. But in certain cases, you may feel lonely and disconnected by each soul around you in office. Let us take a look at some easy plots that can help you connect with your co-workers.
The Co-worker Connection Made Easy
There is no fixed set of rules or a step-by-step procedure that you need to follow. No maths and no calculations involved here. All that you need is confidence and the right amount of professionalism.
There are, however, certain dos and don’ts and other areas that may need analysis. So, all this blended together, can help you with a strong and healthy connection with your co-workers.
Initiate a Conversation
As clichéd as it sounds, it works that very well too! Whether it is your first job or an upgrade to a new office, all you need to do is communicate.
And how? Well, for starters, you could appear warm and welcoming and wear a smile on your face. Simple things, like saying “hello” and “bye” do wonders.
You could start a conversation at the coffee machine on a Monday morning or at the coat rack before leaving for the day. If you are walking past a colleague’s desk, you could simply wave and say “hi”. Perhaps, you can comment on the photos he/she has on the desk!
Spend Quality Time
This one is a flawless plan to spark a healthy connection with your colleagues. Inviting them for lunch only portrays you to be a friendly and warm person.
Sharing a talk or two over food will be fun, and it will also help you exchange views and know other people around you. Knowing each other outside office really helps. You could probably know other common interests that you share.
Share What You Learn
We all come from diverse learning backgrounds. There is so much that can be learned from or shared with co-workers.
Use this opportunity to strengthen your relationships with people around you. Sharing knowledge or even a nice thought for that sake is only going to take a few minutes. If you have easier ways to get a work done, have new ideas, etc., share it with your colleagues via email or sit across and communicate.
Collaborate on Projects
We all have worked in groups during college years, and we know how much it helps. Relive those fun days again by opting to work in groups.
Collaborate on projects and share your ideas and views. Each of you may have a different thinking; so, working together will ensure that you combine the best of ideas to execute the project. Group meetings involve a lot of interaction that can create a good emotional connect amongst co-workers.
Ask/Offer to Help
Everyone is not comfortable asking for any official help. Chances are even you may not be comfortable with the idea.
But, many times, there are situations when you simply get stuck at a certain point and you just don’t know how to fix it. So, don’t be shy; ask for help from your co-workers, which may solve your issue. If you are not sure about a certain presentation or document, ask a co-worker to review it. You could also offer to do the same the next time.
Understand Your Co-workers
In the whole process of connecting with your co-workers, it is important to judge and really know them well.
Not everybody is comfortable with the idea of instant connection. Some may take time to open up, while some may be downright rude and never want to talk to you. So, know what annoys them or uplifts their mood.
You will have all sorts of people at your workplace. You may want to be a little careful while getting to know each one of them. This also helps you form a good impression, as your co-workers are going to be happy about your efforts and you respecting everyone’s differences.
Dos and Don’ts
➡ “Hi, am Aaron, am single, and you look pretty today!”
Beep. Red Alert! Limit the comfort zone. And we mean literally. Getting to know a co-worker has a certain set of don’ts, and this one probably tops the list. Never ever get too close or comfortable in a conversation with a co-worker.
Always and always take things slow. Most people get too comfortable in the process of rapport building, which may harm your professional image at work. Keep your talk casual.
➡ “You look so hot in this photo that you shared!”
Social media is perhaps the easiest way to make friends at work. This involves no awkwardness and less blunders. But, you should be careful about drawing the line between personal and professional life.
Social networking is a place where you could share literally anything and everything. Be careful when sharing or commenting. You might want to keep co-workers to a limited access.
➡ “Can I buy you lunch for the week?”
Getting a bag of cookies for your co-workers is a sweet gesture, once in a while. But do not get too generous. Compliment, offer lunch, or get a round of coffee for your co-workers, but limit the generosity.
➡ “Sure, count me in!”
An outgoing nature will earn you a good image in office. Accept invitations. And these can be outside office, too. Whenever there are plans or other celebrations, like birthdays or outings, make sure you participate actively.
➡ “I appreciate your effort. Thank you.”
Even if your co-worker is your office buddy now, respect in terms of giving and taking is important. You may have to figure out your office rules and protocols at every interaction, at least during office hours. Respect your co-worker’s time and effort.
Most of you must be puzzled with the theory of connecting with co-workers. So, is it fair to make friends of co-workers? Is it healthy on the professional front? Yes, it is. It is definitely good to have a friend where you work. With hectic lifestyles, we seldom have the time to connect with buddies after work. What’s better than to have a buddy at work?
All in all, socializing in the office is very important; it helps improve work output and overall work satisfaction. When employees co-exist in harmony, work will no longer get boring. If you enjoy what you do, the 9 to 5 timer will sound fun and pleasurable!