Work Smarter//

How to Foster Friendships at Work, and Why It’s Good For You

Work connections improve your mood and productivity.

By nd3000/Shutterstock
By nd3000/Shutterstock

We spend a lot of time with the people we work with, whether we’re collaborating on projects, meeting about goals, or running into each other around the office. But how often are we genuinely connecting with them? The truth is, probably not enough, though we should actively work on changing that — both for the sake of forming friendships, and our well-being and efficiency at work. It really is all connected: Research shows that forming meaningful work relationships can increase our happiness, boost our productivity, and help us find a sense of community in the workplace. 

If you’re unsure how to begin, here are three small gestures you can take to practice your Microstep and help build stronger connections with your colleagues:

Thank your colleagues regularly

Studies show that practicing gratitude at work has been found to boost resilience and reduce stress on the job — and most importantly, help strengthen our relationships with those around us. After completing a project, write an email to your whole team expressing your gratitude, or approach an individual and compliment them on how helpful they were throughout the process. Or offer to take the team out for coffee to celebrate a job well done! It’s easy to forget the power of a simple “thank you” during a busy workday, but it goes a long way. 

Ask how you can help

When everyone is busy with their own tasks, we can forget to give to others — and sometimes, the simple act of offering support can help you bond with your team. Make it a habit to regularly ask a colleague how you can help — sometimes, that might simply mean lending a listening, supportive ear over your lunch break. When others see that you care about their time, they take notice, and it can often lead to deeper conversations, too. Plus, research shows that offering our time conveys the message that we respect the other person’s workload, and makes people more willing to return the favor in the future.

Swap digital exchanges for in-person conversations

It’s easy to hide behind our computer screens to communicate with one another efficiently (hello, Slack channels!) — but it’s also important to talk to your co-workers when you can. Instead of sending messages to your colleagues’ inboxes, make a deliberate choice to swap some of those interactions for face-to-face conversations. You can even make a trip out of it: Discuss your work outside, or over lunch or coffee. You’ll find that other conversations spark more seamlessly, and you’ll build empathy in the process. You’ll also probably resolve work matters more productively than if it were handled behind screens.

Follow us here and subscribe here for all the latest news on how you can keep Thriving.

Stay up to date or catch-up on all our podcasts with Arianna Huffington here.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

bbernard
Well-Being//

The Benefits of Getting Out of the Office With Your Co-workers

by Rebecca Muller
Corporate//

How Connecting With Others Makes Your Life Better

by Thrive Global Staff
monkeybusinessimages/ Getty Images
Well-Being//

How to Make (Tiny) Personal Connections Every Day

by Rebecca Muller

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.