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Staying socially connected at work

What is the surest sign of being happy at work? A good salary? Benefits, perhaps. Studies show that a sense of belonging is undoubtedly the biggest factor. Discover the benefits of having friends at your workplace.

Four ways to build stronger workplace friendships

1. Be seen.
There’s a phenomenon called the mere exposure effect. Basically, the more we see and hear something, the more we tend to like it. Keep your Zoom camera on for meetings and comment on your coworkers’ Instagram posts occasionally.

2. Stay curious.
Spend a few minutes before every meeting to connect on a personal level. If your coworker always leaves work with their yoga mat, ask them about it. After all, work is only one part of who we are.

3. Make THEM feel liked.
Studies show that making others feel happy is more meaningful than socializing alone. What’s more, it makes both people better off.

  • Bring treats to the office when you’re celebrating a personal milestone
  • Compliment a colleague’s new haircut
  • Simply tell them you appreciate them

4. Be real.
People will like you less if they sense you’re trying to win them over for mere personal gain. Above all, be honest, supportive and practice active listening by asking engaging questions.

5 Smile.
Sounds simple. Yet in today’s high-stress workplace, a smile, a compliment or even a quick joke can turn someone’s bad day around.

What to do if you have trouble connecting

Prolonged loneliness can leave you feeling drained and even lead to physical symptoms, aches and pains, sleep problems, and a weakened immune response. Especially in these times, always know that there is help:

  • Family and friends are a great supportive resource
  • Try reaching out to your HR department. They have tools that can help.
  • Check in with your primary doctor if anxiety or loneliness start impacting your everyday life.

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