Friends eating dinner

Having a full-time job often means spending more time with your co-workers than with your friends and significant other.

Build office friendships

Rather than lament your lack of a social life or the fact you’re too tired to do much after a long day, build better bonds with the people you share office space with. It might seem like a daunting task but making friends at work can be easier than you think.

Start a team or club

One of the best ways to get people at work to mingle and get to know each other better is to create a way for them to be together outside of work – e.g. a sports team or club. Whether it’s baseball (something most people are comfortable playing), touch football, book club or cooking club (everyone brings a themed dish to someone’s house each month), there’s bound to be a common interest among co-workers. Ask around or take a poll about what people would be interested in and then make it happen.

Real women speak: “I didn’t start a club, but one of my co-workers started a weekend baseball league and we play every Sunday. I’m horrible at baseball but it’s been a great way to get to know the other people in my office.” Sarah, 39, Boulder, Colorado

cocktailOrganize after-work drinks

Especially now that it’s warm out (aka patio season), getting people out for a pint or cocktail after work shouldn’t be too hard. It’s even more ideal if there’s someplace close by you can all walk to. Being outside the confines of the office makes it much easier to loosen up and get to know the people you work with.

Real women speak: “I’m really shy so I had a hard time getting to know people in my office, but when someone started a weekly drinks meet-up every Friday at the pub around the corner from us, I realized I worked with some really great people. It’s been a year and we still meet up every Friday!” Briony, 28, Newark, New Jersey

Talk about things other than work

Talking about work while at the office makes sense – you’re at the office, but it will never allow for closer bonds or even finding out more about your co-workers. Make a point to talk about yourself, offer anecdotes about your life and ask co-workers questions about their lives as a way to create a connection. Chances are if you open up, they will too.

Real women speak: “When I go out for lunch with the other girls in my office, I try not to talk about work. We will if there’s something pressing but otherwise we talk about our families, our boyfriends and other non-work stuff that’s a lot more fun!” Sandi, 24, Jacksonville, Florida

More about friendship

5 Ways to make your friends hate you
5 Steps to a better social life
Top tips for making friends as an adult

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Comments

Comments on "How to make more friends at work"

Megan February 08, 2013 | 6:35 PM

I always make friends with the people I sit near. Talk about the weekend, work, life in general. Before you know it you'll be having lunch and going to happy hour with them!

Shannon August 14, 2012 | 9:32 AM

That's what I miss most about working full time - the socializing! At my old job, we always had team lunches and team building activities, so that was a great help in making friends. I also would go on daily walks with a few of the girls, and we'd do happy hour every Friday! Oh how I miss working sometimes.

Yi-Fan July 11, 2012 | 10:42 AM

Nice advice. These are the great ideas on how to make friends in the office. :)

Britt July 10, 2012 | 3:04 PM

I love meeting up with my office friends for happy hour after work! It is a blast and a great chance for us all to unwind from our stressful days. And the built in community makes it easy to plan something on a regular basis.

Britt July 10, 2012 | 2:58 PM

I spend so much time at work that some of my best friends are my friends from work because we naturally spend so much time together. And when something happens throughout the day that I need to vent, they are right there! As females, I think it is natural to build these types of friendships!

Emma July 10, 2012 | 2:57 PM

I love having friends at work who can be great sounding boards throughout the day, not just about work but about personal life as well! You definitely have to be careful with office friendships and make sure they don't get in the way of your work or becoming an issue, but it can be really great to foster relationships in the workplace.

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