Friends having fun.
Developing good relationships with co-workers can be excellent workplace motivator according to a recent survey by Robert Half International, an international finance and accounting recruitment firm. The survey found that 63% of U.S. employees, and 57% of their managers, believe that office productivity improves when co-workers are friends outside of the place of work.
The demand of work makes it difficult to build friendships at the office, but it certainly something worth doing as having good friends at one’s place of work adds a social aspect to the workday and the job more enjoyable.
Pallavi Anand, Director at Robert Half Hong Kong provides some tips on how to go about developing strong friendships in the office.
THINGS TO DO
#1: Do Lunch
Inviting a colleague out for a meal is a good way to get to know him or her in a more relaxed setting.
Colleagues having lunch.
#2: Participate in project groups or committees
Enrolling in office group activities is a great way to get to know other people in your workplace as well as build up skill sets.
#3: Celebrate milestones
You help foster a spirit of togetherness by acknowledging you colleagues’ birthdays with cards, decorations and gifts. Consider roping in others in your office to plan birthday events for fellow employees.
#4: Organise a holiday potluck
Holiday potlucks are an excellent way to encourage colleagues to bring their favorite dishes to the break room and talk about their lives outside of the office. Usually a brief email and a sign-up sheet is often all it takes to get ball rolling.
THE THINGS NOT TO DO
Despite the benefits of having friends at work, sometimes these relationships can cause problems. Here are some pointers to keep in mind when building relationships with co-workers:
#1: Avoid gossipers
Take a step back before deciding to involve yourself with office gossip or the boss’ most vocal critic.
#2: Don’t get carried away with socializing
While it is great fun to hang out with your friends at work, you always have to be mindful of the fact that the primary why you are there in first place is to work.
#3: Don’t be a doormat
While friends should be there for one another, it does not necessarily mean that you have to ignore your own workload in order to help a coworker at his or hers. However, you should avoid not offering your assistance to just your friends; offer it to anyone who needs your help.
#4: Don’t be clique-y
Despite how much fun your favorite work friends might be, remember to encourage fellow employees to participate in the fun so no one at the office feels excluded.
#5: Widen your circle
It is always a good idea to look beyond your own team or department for friends at the office. One way of doing this is to volunteer to at work-related social event where you can meet new people.