Meet new people
Developing good connections with your colleagues can help you to build a support network and make the workplace a more enjoyable place. Here are some of the ways you can develop connections with your colleagues:
- Have lunch together. Go out for lunch with your colleagues, or simply grab lunch together, so you can get to know more about each other.
- Find common ground. Find common interests and hobbies that both of you enjoy, so you have something positive to talk about and improve your relationships.
- Team building. Joining team building activities to get to know your colleagues, and to skill up communication and collaboration skills, which can help you to work more effectively.
- Greet your colleagues before diving into work. If you are working from home during the pandemic, greeting your colleagues gives you a chance to connect with your colleagues and get to know more about them.
- Turn on your camera if you are video-calling your colleagues. This can be a way to show respect, so they know they are not talking to a computer. Turning on your camera also makes you more approachable and friendly.
- If you are working from home and not meeting a lot of people, try setting up coffee or lunch chats with your colleagues to get to know them – this can be done in person or by video call.
Some points to consider before befriending your coworkers:
- Be genuine. Being genuine makes you more approachable and trustworthy.
- Set your boundaries. It is important to set your own boundaries, so your coworkers know what behaviours are acceptable and respect your personal space.
- Respect others’ boundaries. Although it is great to have friends at work, not everyone is looking to create work relationships. Respect others’ boundaries and personal space.
What if I can’t make new friends at work?
It’s important to note that it’s not always possible to have good personal relationships with all your colleagues. If you and your colleagues don’t get along, keep a professional distance and show respect. It also helps you to stay focused on your work. You don’t have to force yourself to fit in just to be friends with your coworkers, but respect others, as you are still working in the same environment.
Managing workplace conflict
Workplace conflict is sometimes unavoidable, and you might need to work with people you don’t like, or their behaviours may affect your work.
- Addressing your concerns. If your coworker significantly impacts your work, you may want to address your concerns with them. Take some time to organise your feelings and thoughts, and explain it to them calmly to sort things out. If you do not want to talk to them, you may also seek help from HR or your line manager.
- Avoid participating in gossip. Although people think gossiping is a great way to bond, it may stir up workplace conflicts, which can put a strain on your relationship with colleagues.
- Keep a professional distance. If you and your colleagues do not get along well, keep a professional distance and stay focused on your work.
Learn more about managing workplace conflict here: https://www.mind.org.hk/mental-health-a-to-z/mental-health-at-work/how-can-i-manage-conflict-at-work/