Starting a new job can be stressful, and having to enter a new social circle at work doesn't make it any easier. However, there are ways to meet friends at work that will make both of those things much simpler... and by a lot.
When you don't know anyone in your office, it can be intimidating to go into work, and it may even keep you from doing your job the best you can because of social anxiety. There is nothing worse than not feeling comfortable in your own workspace.
On the other side of things, when you actually are friends with your coworkers, all of that changes. From sharing your funny stories and important life news with your coworkers to having somebody to eat lunch with, having friends in the office makes a world of difference.
Being buddies with your office mates can turn a bad day into an OK day. It can also turn a nice day into an amazing day. So with that in mind, start making friends with your coworkers stat. Learn the techniques, then put them to use. You will be thanking yourself later when you realize that your job actually doesn't suck that much thanks to awesome people that work there with you.
1. Kitchen Talk
Everybody knows that if there's a play room in the office, it's the kitchen. Everybody from every department has reason to be in it on the regular, which pretty much makes it the best intersection for making new office friends. As for the conversation starters? It's the kitchen, so ask about what your fellow employees are heating up for lunch. Is it homemade? Did they get it from that new Trader Joe's that just opened up across the office? There's plenty of opportunity for friendship to flourish over food.
2. Instant Messenger
In today's day and age, almost every office has some form of instant messenger that's used throughout the building or floor. While you should obviously use the messaging system for work purposes, that doesn't mean you can't have a little fun with it on the side. It might seem a little awkward at first, but give it a couple days and you'll be cracking office jokes with your coworkers over IM like a pro.
3. Stick Around After You Clock Out
I know, nobody likes hanging out at work when you're not being paid, but sometimes sticking around after 6 p.m. can be a huge help if you're looking to make some new office friends. With less people in the office, the office tone becomes much more casual and people tend to let their guard down more. What does that mean? It's a perfect time for swooping in and making small talk.
4. Invite Your Coworkers On Coffee Runs
Coffee unites people. Caffeine is loved in the office place, and it's hard to turn down a coffee run. Invite a coworker on your way out of the office on a caffeine run with you. Chances are that they'll say yes for the fact that there's coffee involved, as well as an opportunity to get their body moving.
5. Bring Treats Into The Office
Everybody loves baked goods. Cookies, cake, cupcakes, or muffins... honestly, it doesn't matter what it is so long as it's delicious. When coworkers see you carrying a tray of goodies into the kitchen, they'll instantly want to know what's up. If you're feeling extra friendly, you can even hop around from desk to desk giving out your baked treats.
6. Make An Effort To Attend Work Socials
If your work has cocktail get-togethers once a month at the local bar, try to show up on time and stay for at least an hour. Has your boss sent out an email about a group hike over the weekend? Yup, you're going. Having experiences to talk about other than work (and outside of the office) will create, strengthen, and expand any office friendship.
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