Here's How To Actually Make Friends At The Office

Work can feel lonely no matter where you work, including if you've worked at home before or during the COVID-19 pandemic. It can be hard to make friends with coworkers, especially if you're the new talent on the block when everyone else feels like they have established connections. These friendships, like everything else, have been affected by the pandemic. Many industries shut down in-person work and transferred to a Zoom-based meeting system from home, and this can mean that you have much smaller chances at creating lasting relationships. (Still, making these was harder in the before times, too.)

COVID-19 changed office dress codes while working from home and in the office, but perhaps one home office trend we'll see this year is people adjusting even more fully to the home working landscape and therefore learning the best ways to connect with each other. According to Indeed, for example, learning your coworkers' names quickly and using them shows them that you care, appreciate them, and want to become friends. Of course, there's also the old way of getting lunch or having coffee with your coworkers. While this isn't physically possible for many right now due to the pandemic, having lunch or coffee over Zoom for a few minutes can be enlightening and fun.

Still, there are many more tricks you can use to make new work friends.

Group chats and baked goods are just two ways to make friends

Becoming friends with coworkers can benefit both your personal and work lives. You may even get to the point that you're exchanging holiday gifts with your coworkers, but to get there, you have to get the friendship wheels in motion. According to The Muse, who gathered a bunch of ways to do this together, the best way to maintain these relationships is to introduce yourself to every new coworker at your job. This gets the ball rolling immediately. Likewise, listen attentively when people talk to you. People can feel it if you're actually engaging with them.

This is all important because, as noted by Business News Daily, you'll feel more connected but you'll also be up to seven times more likely to be engaged with work you're doing. To accomplish this, try suggesting to your coworkers getting drinks or dinner. This could lead to recurring evening events if it goes well. According to Fast Company, bringing food or baked goods to your job can strike up a good conversation. Plus, if everyone's following common courtesy, they'll all stop by to say thank you at the minimum.

Finally, consider decorating your desk and starting a group chat with people you want to become friends with, even if you only talk about work things. Decorating your desk showcases your personality and acts as a talking point, and group chats can be great for bonding and even letting off steam together.