Making Friends at Workplace
Industrial Social

Making Friends at Workplace


Whether you are a genz or a millennial all of us need to interact and bond with people around us to work well. Workplace relationships are vital for satisfaction and connection. Humans can’t function like robots, merely executing tasks. We need interaction, bonding, and activities beyond corporate duties. We as humans need a connection to function well, to survive the environment, to share our thoughts, problems, feelings etc. It has a considerable amount of impact on our productivity and how we manage work-life balance, also eases our way into asking small favours when in need or trouble.

If you are a newbie, you must know some essential tips to make friends at work: 

Be more approachable, smile (not too cheesy), greet your colleagues and take actual interest in what’s going on in the work setting, get noticed as an active participant. It’s your job to take initiative and show your interest in team projects. Add your inputs and ideas, and indulge in outings. It will help you connect with your team or co-workers better.

Be an active listener, and let people feel welcome around you, they’d reciprocate the same gesture. Show some prosocial behaviour like offering help in tasks that are not your defined duties. Indulge in activities that are common among you and your colleagues. Remember that you don’t look too desperate or weird, as building good relationships takes time, give them equal space and let them make equal efforts too. 

Read More: How to Handle Haters in Your Workplace

Balancing friendship at work 

Friendship can occasionally lead to trouble, particularly in the workplace. Therefore, it’s crucial to maintain a professional demeanour, especially while on the job. You need to set and maintain clear boundaries btw work and personal life. You’d need to be cautious of what you share and how much you include the former in your life. If you do have that much trust and you consider them more than colleagues, it might work but still avoid talking about personal life at work premises.

Try to be focused on your responsibilities. keep up with the tasks given to you and do not gossip about sensitive matters in the work promises. Maintain confidentiality related to work information and do not share their details without consent to other people. The very important thing is how you communicate, try being more formal calm and respectful within the premises, maintaining a safe distance, and no contact gestures. 

Read More: Ways to Take More Responsibility in the Workplace

Signs of a Healthy Workplace Friendship 

It will be a mutual thing and should work well from both ends to keep healthy workplace friendships. There should be mutual support, encouragement and involvement in each other’s area and a genuine care about each other. There is this psychological theory called social exchange theory that says people engage in relationships that give them rewards and minimise cost which means both should have positive regards and support in the form of reward.

Such workplace friendships need trust. They should feel equally secure and confident about each other, and about the information between them, and confidentiality should be maintained. They should be able to trust the former intention and should be able to rely on each other. A healthy work environment involves collaboration and teamwork. You would need somebody’s help and vice Versa and to ease the other person you need to be friendly and approachable enough that they can ask you for help and are ready to help you too whenever you need help. Simultaneously you should be mindful about maintaining boundaries. You should be aware of the rules, regulations and workplace policies to keep up with them.

Read More: Work Buddies: Why Having Friends at Workplace is A Good Idea!

Psychology’s take on organizational behaviour

Researchers suggest that friendship in the workplace helps you with your overall well-being, productivity, and job satisfaction. Let us talk about a few essential points in this-

  • Social support: Friends are known to provide social and emotional support. At the workplace, it becomes a whole lot more important to have somebody by your side as your social support system. This helps you cope with stress, navigate challenges, and feel that you belong there.
  • Motivation and engagement: Friends can be your Power Bank at the workplace and will increase your motivation and engagement levels. When we feel connected to our colleagues, we tend to be more invested in our work and strive for success
  • Communication and collaboration: Being friends with colleagues or teammates will improve communication and collaboration within teams. 
  • Trust and loyalty: When we befriend someone we start resonating on the same thoughts and beliefs and that fosters trust and loyalty among colleagues, which leads to increased cooperation, better teamwork and a positive work environment. 
  • Reduced turnover: Such friendships where we are loyal, secure and comfortable contribute to our job satisfaction and so we are less likely to leave the job/organisation, which leads to reduced turnover rates. 
  • Emotional well-being: Friendships at the workplace enhance our emotional state. We can always have someone there to talk, to advice, to share experiences with, and to take a second opinion on decisions we make. It helps reduce stress and enhance job satisfaction. 
  • When we feel comfortable with our colleagues they are more comfortable in sharing their ideas, and providing feedback on our ideas so we can work together effectively. 

There is a branch in psychology called organisational/industrial psychology that focuses on studying such workplace attributes. Our relationships at workplace make us more efficient and strong to withstand all the forthcoming issues. We learn to work in teams even as a leader, we will be effective if there is a connect between colleagues.

Reference +
  • Imaduddin, I. (2024). The Relationship between Workplace Friendship and Workplace Well Being on Productivity. Journal La Bisecoman, 5(1), 108–118.
  • Why workplace friendships can make you happier and more productive. (2020, February 9). World Economic Forum.
  • Fasbender, U., Burmeister, A., & Wang, M. (2023). Managing the risks and side effects of workplace friendships: The moderating role of workplace friendship self-efficacy. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 143, 103875.

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