There are many reasons American workers have decreased their focus on building relationships in the office. For one, job longevity has gone down. Most millennial workers spend an average of four years or less at their workplace, so making friends can seem pointless. Employees are also putting in more hours each week, so they strive to keep their personal time sacred.
However, it's important to push past small talk and open up to coworkers with non-work-related conversations. Say no to detailing your love life, but yes to finding some common ground over coffee. In addition to boosting productivity and general happiness, friendships foster sharing, creativity, and ingenuity in the workplace. Instead of focusing inward for growth, Rath encourages leadership teams to promote a work environment with a close-knit, friendly culture. Bonding can be achieved by team outings, such as an improv class, or by thoughtful team-building retreats.
In order to recognize potential friendships at work, here's a list Rath created to detail various roles friends can play in your life:
• Builder (motivator)
• Champion (sing your praises)
• Collaborator (has similar interests, passions)
• Companion (always there for you)
• Connector (introduces you others, widens your circle)
• Energizer (always gives you a boost, makes you laugh)
• Mind opener (expand your horizons, embrace new ideas)
• Navigator (helps you make decisions)
So, go ahead and divulge your latest Netflix binge to your work friend... then get back to work. If you're having trouble making friends at your office (or in your busy adult life), watch the videos below to get some tips.