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 — and getting along with them is important. Research shows that forming meaningful work relationships can increase our happiness, boost our productivity, and even help us find a sense of community at work.
Being social at work can also help you avoid burnout. When young adults are isolated from their peers, they experience everyday stressors (like an approaching deadline, or a big presentation) with more severity, according to a study published in Perspectives in Biology and Medicine. In contrast, work friendships have been linked to positive attitudes among employees, which encourages motivation and prevents feelings of burnout.
But because everyone is so busy, it’s often difficult to make meaningful connections at our jobs. And sometimes after-work plans like happy hours or bowling outings can feel like more of a chore than a bonding experience. Still, it’s entirely possible to bond with your co-workers while at work — by taking a walking meeting, sitting in a communal area for lunch, or inviting someone out for a coffee break. To build the habit of connecting with your co-workers, start by implementing your Microstep of inviting one co-worker who you don’t often connect with out to lunch or coffee, or even a virtual coffee break.
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