What does your daily schedule at work like? Chances are, it’s chock full of duties, meetings, and other responsibilities. One thing you probably don’t have on your work schedule is a time slot set aside for developing professional relationships with your colleagues.
Spending your precious time conversing with your coworkers in front of the water cooler might seem wasteful. But that time spent at the water cooler is, in many ways, a necessity. Your relationship with coworkers has a huge impact on both your personal and professional life. It impacts your mood in the workplace, your ability to get things done, and the number of people who will show up to your retirement party in the office (and actually care), among other things.
Wondering how to develop and strengthen relationships with your coworkers? Here are some simple yet effective ways to build workplace relationships.
Most people have a “work personality” and a “home personality” that differ dramatically. While it’s important to keep your interactions with your coworkers professional, you don’t want to be all business and no play. Don’t be afraid to show some of your “home personality” at work—be honest and genuine!
By sharing your hobbies, interests, and snippets about your day-to-day life, you can find like-minded colleagues and turn them into friends.
It’s hard to foster positive work relationships when you spend each day sequestered inside your cubicle without talking to anyone. Of course, initiating conversations isn’t everyone’s forte. But there are plenty of ways to make your colleagues trust and appreciate you without spending time at the water cooler gossiping.
One way is to help them out whenever and however you can. Maybe their computer is acting weird, and you just so happen to be a computer whiz. Or maybe they’re struggling to get through a stack of paperwork, and you just finished yours. Maybe their pen just ran out of ink, and you have an arsenal of brand-new pens at your desk.
If you have the time and expertise to lend a hand, do it! Your coworkers will appreciate it immensely and may even return the favor the next time you run into a problem.
Show Your Appreciation
Being a coworker is a lot harder than it seems. To be a good coworker, you need to help out your teammates on top of juggling your own daily tasks. But because being overly helpful is what’s expected of them, good coworkers rarely get the acknowledgment and appreciation they deserve.
The next time one of your colleagues does something nice for you, don’t forget to tell them how much you appreciate the gesture. Showing your appreciation is a fantastic way to build workplace relationships because it shows your coworkers that you recognize and appreciate everything they do when nobody else does.
You can thank them aloud, of course. But for colleagues that really go above and beyond, consider presenting them with something special, such as an appreciation plaque. And if you have more than one colleague to thank (maybe you all collaborated on a tough project), you can never go wrong with bringing in a box of donuts.