15 Tips to Make Friends in a New Workplace
Starting a new job can be a lot to handle – new tasks, a different workload, and a boss with their own set of expectations. Plus, you've got to get to know and befriend a whole new bunch of co-workers.
Having pals at work is important (check out this article to find out why), and chances are, you took on this new role hoping to click with your teammates. But let's be real, who has the time to think about that when there's already so much on your plate?
To make the transition smoother, here are 15 easy-peasy tips that'll help you kick off on the right foot with your new colleagues – no need to put in too much effort. Yep, it's that simple.
1. Engage in Small Talk
When meeting folks around the office, take a moment to introduce yourself. Utilize those casual moments by the coffee machine, in the elevator, or before a meeting to strike up a conversation. Find out which team they're on, what they enjoy most about working here, or even their weekend plans. Ease into small talk, and don't worry, it's okay to feel a bit awkward at first.
2. Remember Their Names
As Dale Carnegie wisely put it in his book, "How to Win Friends and Influence People," a person's name is like sweet music to their ears. Commit to memory the names of your colleagues, and don't hesitate to drop them into your conversations. This simple act can make a strong, positive impression right off the bat.
3. Take a Break from Your Desk During Lunch
Instead of munching away at your desk, consider stepping out for lunch. It's an effortless way to connect with colleagues from different teams
4. Grab a Coffee Together
Propose a coffee run when you and a colleague have some free time (and offer to foot the bill). Beyond being a friendly gesture and an opportunity to get to know them better, it sets the stage for future hangouts. Plus, they might return the favor down the line, ensuring more chances to catch up!
5. Propose Get-Togethers After Work
Round up a small crew (beginning with your immediate team if you're unsure) and see if they're up for grabbing some drinks or a bite nearby after work. The laid-back setting is perfect for steering the conversation away from work-related matters, allowing you to connect on a more personal level.
6. Decorate Your Workspace
Spruce up your desk with a touch of your personality! Placing photos or quirky items on your desk serves as a conversation starter, offering glimpses into your life. It invites impromptu chats when colleagues drop by, making your workspace a more inviting and engaging environment.
7. Join (or Launch) a Hobby Club
If you're fortunate enough to be part of a workplace with existing interest groups, such as a kickball team or a movie club, consider joining one that aligns with your passions. In case there aren't any, start a book club yourself. Gather a few like-minded colleagues, choose a book, and set a date and place for some enjoyable literary discussions.
8. Share Some Snacks
We all know the magic of food in bringing people closer. Extend a friendly gesture by bringing in some snacks, especially when your colleagues are running low on treats. It's not just about sharing food; it's a chance to strike up conversations with new faces. And if someone asks for your recipe, consider it a bonus!
9. Start a Chat Room
When you discover common interests among your colleagues, kickstart a virtual chat room dedicated to that shared passion. Whether it's sports, a favorite TV show, or exchanging recipes, having a designated space for these discussions can foster camaraderie.
10. Work Away From Your Desk
If your job allows for flexibility in choosing your workspace, venture beyond your desk. Utilize common area tables or comfy couches to carry out your tasks. It's an excellent way to encounter people you wouldn't normally sit next to and opens up opportunities for casual interactions.
11. Have a Positive Attitude
If you complain about your work less and stay clear of office gossip, your positive vibes will become a magnet. People will naturally gravitate toward you, eager to bask in the uplifting atmosphere you bring.
12. Offer to Help
Step outside the confines of your job description and proactively offer assistance to your colleagues before they even ask. This not only provides you with the opportunity to collaborate with and get to know different individuals but also earns you an appreciation for your team-oriented mindset.
13. Greet People
Inject some friendliness into your daily routine by greeting your desk-mates with a simple "hello" and a wish for a good night. When passing people in the hallway, resist the urge to keep your head down—offer a smile, say hello, and, if you haven't officially crossed paths with them, take a moment to introduce yourself.
14. Mind Your Body Language
Crossing your arms, being engrossed in your phone, or drowning in your headphones can unintentionally signal that you're not open to interaction. The more approachable and open you appear physically, the greater the likelihood that others will feel comfortable approaching you or starting conversations.
15. Stay True to Yourself
There's no point in trying to forge connections if it's not based on the real you. While you don't have to spill every detail, don't shy away from sharing aspects of your life and interests beyond work. Authentic friendships blossom when they begin from a place of honesty.
Embarking on a new job can be daunting, but I assure you that investing effort in building friendships with your colleagues pays off in the long run. Given the considerable time spent in the office, these workplace connections can transform a challenging job into a satisfying one.
So, if you're navigating a fresh role, give these suggestions a shot, and before you know it, you'll proudly refer to your co-workers as friends.