Make Your Job A Little More Enjoyable With Our 17 Tips For Making Friends At Work

No one wants to feel like they're in misery every time they show up to work. Unfortunately, too many people feel completely trapped at their jobs without the proper tools in place to create a happier outcome for themselves. One of the easiest ways to make your job more enjoyable is by making friends on the job. Since you spend so many of your hours each day at work, it makes sense that you'd want to get along well with the people you're constantly surrounding yourself with. 


Chances are, you probably already have tons of friends — or even just a few — you can hang out with after clocking out. Even so, there's no harm in expanding your social circle by connecting with coworkers you meet at your job. This is also a positive undertaking to pursue if you don't currently have solid friendships to lean on outside of the workplace. Plus, meeting friends on the job is a great opportunity to experience more internal joy. Here are a few easy tips to try when you are ready to start socializing with the people you work with.

Introduce yourself to as many people as possible early on

Making it through your first week at a new job involves a lot of introductions. But introducing yourself to as many people as you possibly can during the early stages of a new job is the first step you can take in making friends at work. After all, you're only a new employee for a little while. Once you've been working at a company for more than a few weeks to months, you're not considered a "newbie" anymore. Your first few shifts on the job should be dedicated to meeting everyone and making your presence known. When making this happen, go out of your way to remember as many names as you possibly can. 


It's super uncomfortable to have to re-introduce yourself to people you've already met because you accidentally forgot their names during initial introductions. One of the ways you can go about remembering everyone's name is by discreetly writing notes on pads of paper or in reminder apps on your phone whenever you get a chance. Each time you strike up conversations with coworkers, try your best to use their names — they'll feel great knowing that you actually remember who they are.

Sign up for off-the-clock work events

If your schedule permits and you have enough time off to allow it, you should sign up for as many off-the-clock work events as possible. Going to off-the-clock work events with coworkers gives you the chance to get to know everyone in a more informal setting. Since you're not technically on the clock, everyone will feel more laid-back and chill while interacting with each other. There's no denying that when you're in the middle of a workday, it's difficult to let your guard down, go with the flow, or showcase the true elements of your personality. 


If everyone from your job agrees to meet up somewhere completely separate from work-related responsibilities, you'll all get a better glimpse of each other's character traits. Some off-the-clock work events that typically take place include group dinners, holiday parties, fundraising events, charitable functions, volunteer programs, and more. Keep in mind that these events should never be mandatory, and you don't have to bend over backward to make yourself available. Simply do your best to show up if it's genuinely convenient for you to do so.

Ask to collaborate with coworkers who interest you

There might already be a handful of coworkers that have been catching your eye since your first day on the job. If this is the case, ask about collaborating with them. Gaining the fortune of teaming up with the people who already pique your interest is a step in the right direction. Management often does its best to pair wonderful employees together for big projects and challenging assignments. 


Let your opinions be known to your management team if there's a specific coworker you'd like to work with directly. Sometimes, managers will be receptive to employee input based on ideas that would help improve the company. From your perspective, it makes sense to collaborate with a particular coworker since you know the two of you would easily bounce ideas off each other in a productive manner. Explain your viewpoint and why you think such a collaboration would be ideal in order to make it happen.

Request a chance to shadow coworkers who inspire you

Maybe you're not at a place in your career to collaborate with coworkers by choice just yet. If that's the case, you can still request the opportunity to shadow coworkers who inspire you on the job. Shadowing coworkers who have already accomplished things you're hoping to achieve in your career is a great way to prove how seriously you're taking your position while opening the door to a possible friendship. 


The person you shadow will feel respected and revered because you were impressed enough to want to learn the ropes from them. People who are passionate about what they do usually love taking on the role of a teacher who educates others on how to gain their level of knowledge and expertise.

You'll be putting the coworker who inspires you on a metaphorical pedestal by giving them the chance to break down different insights they believe you should keep in mind while you're working alongside them. This will undoubtedly build a rapport and allow future conversations, opportunities for collaboration, and a potential friendship. 

Avoid oversharing, prying, gossiping, and bringing up controversial topics

As tempted as you might be to overshare personal details to make yourself appear more approachable and vulnerable, you have to avoid sharing too many personal details. If you reveal one too many things about yourself that aren't exactly appropriate in the workplace, you could end up getting in trouble with upper management or dealing with the backlash of judgment from your colleagues.


You should also avoid prying while talking to your coworkers if they don't feel comfortable opening up to you about any particular topic. As soon as your coworker lets you know they're not willing to discuss something, the best thing you can do is drop it. Gossiping is another red flag activity to avoid if you want to make solid friends in the workplace.

As soon as you get caught up in the petty nonsense of gossiping, you could end up divided by cliques and unnecessary office politics. Lastly, bringing up controversial topics is an absolute no-go. Your disappointment in the Democratic or Republican parties and your personal church affiliations have no place in conversations at work.

Consider adding your coworkers on social media

Depending on how frequently you use social media, adding your coworkers on different platforms might be a great idea. When you add your coworkers on social media, they get the chance to see what you're really like when you're not in the middle of getting work done. You can also explore your coworkers' social media pages, take note of their hobbies, see who their spouses or partners are, and more. There are several different social media platforms to consider if you're willing to take a leap like this. 


Instagram is a great place to start since it's a platform where you can share pictures that highlight the best moments of your life. TikTok is another wonderful option since it's a platform where you can share videos that keep up with different trends and viral sounds. Facebook and Twitter sort of fall into the same category when it comes to social media platforms since they are both places where you can create posts describing your ever-changing thoughts and feelings.

Never keep your office or cubicle entrance closed

A huge mistake to make on the job would be keeping your office door shut or keeping your cubicle entrance closed off. When you close yourself off from your coworkers, you don't give them easy access to you throughout the day. Closing yourself off gives off the vibe that you don't appreciate being bothered, don't care to socialize, and don't want to interact with anyone unless you absolutely have to. There's no way you'll be able to meet friends at work if this is the energy you're displaying. 


Instead of keeping your office door shut or your cubicle entrance closed off, ensure there's always an easy path of access for people to reach and find you throughout the day. You might even consider decorating your office or cubicle with items that would classify as "conversation starters." Photos of you with your significant other, dog, or kids are great to display. Plants, aesthetically pleasing calendars, and stunning paperweights are some other ideas that could get a conversation from a curious coworker going.

Frequently turn your camera on for Zoom calls

Whether you work remotely or in person, it's possible Zoom calls are one of your workplace requirements. If you're required to hop on Zoom calls regularly, you should frequently be turning your camera on. Whenever you leave your camera off, no one is able to see your face, your facial expressions, or your reactions to whatever's being said. It also comes across as a bit too mysterious in an environment where you're supposed to be transparent. 


There's no reason to be mysterious with your coworkers when trying to make friends in the workplace. Leaving your camera off can even make your coworkers and upper management think you aren't taking your position as seriously as everyone else or are uninterested in establishing relationships. Perhaps you're distracted doing other things during your Zoom call, such as texting, watching TV shows, or playing with your pet. When your camera is turned on, it shows everyone that you're mentally present and giving it your all.

Stay on or near the premises during your lunch breaks

It's perfectly fine to leave the premises of your workplace during your lunch break if you're craving something that will require a drive. During the process of trying to make friends in the workplace, though, do your best to stay on or near the premises whenever your lunch break rolls around. If you're in the same environment as your coworkers during break time when everyone is eating together, you'll have a greater opportunity to strike up a conversation during lunch and build solid connections with people.


Once you've already figured out some tight-knit friendships with coworkers, feel free to hop in your car and grab lunch from wherever is calling out to you. Until then, think about bringing a packed lunch with you or ordering lunch to be delivered. Enjoying food while chatting with your coworkers is a fabulous way to break the ice and see who you're vibing with the most.

Participate in any team-building exercises

If your workplace has team-building exercises on the docket, don't shy away from participation. After all, team-building exercises might be exactly what you need to create deeper connections with the people you're working with. If you consider yourself a little more reserved and introverted, you might have to go out of your way a bit to make your voice heard and make your presence known amid team-building exercises. 


One excellent team-building exercise your job might plan would be a time for everyone to describe their favorite childhood memories or their favorite moment. Everyone can talk about the moment they met their spouse, had their first child, adopted their first pet, or something else.

Another team-building exercise would be making a group puzzle together. This involves one sheet of paper being cut into eight perfect squares. Everyone will get the chance to draw a specific design on their individual squares to ensure they fit perfectly together when lined up. Get creative with it! The most important part is that you are interacting and involved. 

Come across as approachable and welcoming

When trying to make new friends at work, it's your job to come across as approachable and welcoming as possible. Waves and smiles will take you far! After you've already been introduced to coworkers on the job, acknowledge them when passing them by throughout your day. It becomes awkward and uncomfortable if you're avoiding eye contact out of discomfort or sheepishness. 


At work, it doesn't really matter how introverted you are. Timid behavior makes you come across as dismissive and rude, which are habits guaranteed to turn people off. While it's true that it's easier for extroverts to be social butterflies who casually chat it up with anyone, you still have to wave, smile, and be friendly with the people you're working with.

This is crucial, even if you're self-conscious, self-doubting, or insecure. Whenever you show up at work, say hello to people with greetings like, "Good morning" or "Top of the morning to you!" Whenever you leave work at the end of the day, don't forget to say things like, "Have a great night" or "See you tomorrow."

Mention your hobbies and interests outside of work whenever possible

Go out of your way to mention your hobbies and interests outside of work whenever possible. When you do this, your coworkers get the chance to resonate with you about things they wouldn't have been able to guess before. Fashion might be the one thing you genuinely care about outside the workplace. Showing up in the trendiest outfits all the time might not be enough for people you're working with to truly understand how passionate you are about your interest. 


Bring up some of your favorite fashion designers, models, influencers, brands, and shopping centers in conversation to see if anyone else is equally hyped up about fashion. Or, being a true foodie might be the epitome of your personality. List off all your favorite restaurants, quick bites, recipes, food blogs, and famous chefs while you're at work to see if the topic sparks the same excitement in anyone else. Odds are, you'll have similar interests with at least one or two people.

Don't be shy about complimenting your coworkers

You should never feel too shy to compliment your coworkers on the job. We're not talking about complimenting them on their looks! Compliment them on their skill set, talent, work ethic, and other professional aspects. One of your coworkers might excel at turning in high-quality projects at an alarmingly fast rate. Somehow, they're able to manage their quota in a speedy way without sacrificing any of the standards. Let them know how impressive they are for being able to do what they do. 


Another one of your coworkers could be absolutely fabulous with customer relations. Anytime you've heard them hop on a call with an angry client, they're somehow able to navigate the situation leading to a peaceful and calm result. Let them know how amazing it is that they tackle negative customer interactions in a manner that turns everything in a positive direction.

Show up to work with treats or goodies to share

One of the easiest ways to make people feel comfortable and appreciated is by offering treats or goodies to share. When you show up to work with a tray of cupcakes or a box full of donuts, just about everyone with a sweet tooth is going to be excited about it. If you prefer to stay on the healthier side of things, fresh-cut fruit and tasty protein bites are smart alternatives. 


Avoiding food items altogether is perfectly fine if you'd rather bring something in that everyone can enjoy, regardless of dietary restrictions or allergies. New ink pens, Post-it Notes, mini water bottles, and individualized mugs are a few other ideas. When you show up to work with treats and goodies of any kind, it showcases how thoughtful and considerate you are of your coworkers. It also proves that you're willing to go out of your way to bring a smile to everyone's face.

Brainstorm creative conversation starters

Before approaching a group of your coworkers without anything fruitful or engaging to talk about, brainstorm some creative conversation-starters to get yourself ahead. No one wants to deal with a cringeworthy moment of silence where everyone stares at each other blankly. This moment can get even worse if you approach a group of coworkers who were comfortable conversing with each other until your presence threw off their energy. 


As a way of avoiding this, think about fun things anyone would want to discuss at work. Of course, you don't want to bring up topics that are too edgy or inappropriate because pushing the boundaries shouldn't be your goal. Instead, bring up work-related topics such as potential raises, holiday bonuses, and who's on track for upcoming promotions. If you want to talk about things that aren't work-related, ask about recent vacations, favorite local restaurants, or who considers themselves to be cat or dog people.

Invite coworkers to social outings

Although it might not feel like the most comfortable thing in the world to do, it's in your best interest to invite your coworkers to social outings. Instead of waiting around for someone else you work with to plan a fun event, you can be the one who plans an unforgettable event where everyone can connect with each other off the clock. Suggest a great time for everyone to get together for happy hour at a popular restaurant, lounge, or bar. 


If you're feeling comfortable enough with the idea, you might even think about hosting an event of your own where you reside. In a hilarious episode of "The Office," Erin Hannon and Gabe Lewis hosted a pizza-making event at their apartment for everyone to enjoy. In a separate episode, Jim Halpert invited all of his coworkers over for a casual barbecue. There are plenty of ways you can approach an idea like this! Get creative and think about what your coworkers would be receptive to.

Display a positive attitude

The most pivotal detail that comes into play when trying to make friends at the workplace is displaying a positive attitude at every opportunity. It's totally normal and natural to have a bad day or two every once in a while. It mainly becomes an issue if you start coming across as a consistently pessimistic individual in the workplace all the time. No one wants to feel like their energy is being drained by a coworker who never seems to have a positive outlook. 


You're instantly easier to be around if you're generally displaying a positive attitude. In fact, people will start feeling naturally drawn to you if you're a high-vibrational human who's emitting cheerful and jovial energy. When coworkers ask you how your day is going, think about all the lovely things that have happened to you recently before answering that question. Do your best to focus on the highlights of your current circumstances instead of the opposite.