When you’re at work, it can be easy to get into the mind frame that you’re just there to get a job done. But when the average working week amounts to at least 40 hours – working out at nearly 6 full days a week that you spend with your colleagues – you might want to reconsider the importance of having friendships within your working environment. Building professional relationships with the people you work with will lead to a happier place to spend your time, and who doesn’t want that?

Avoid controversial topics

Bear in mind that the people you work with may not be as comfortable around you as you may feel around them. Certain topics could leave your colleagues feeling uneasy and you don’t want to cause any upset. Understanding that some topics can feel invasive to your colleagues will avoid any awkward confrontations because after all, these are people who you will see every day.


Some people are a lot chattier than others and it can be easy to lose track of all the stories someone may discuss with you. Being a good listener and showing an interest can go a long way in letting your colleagues know you value them and have an interest in the things they care about. Even if all you can do is offer a helping hand, at least you are being compassionate to the people you work with. 

Socialise outside of work

Sometimes we can think of nothing worse than spending extra time being in ‘work mode’ but it’s a good idea to try and attend a fair amount of social events your company organises. Letting your hair down and showing the team a more relaxed you could result in developing your relationships with one another. You may also find you enjoy the time with your colleagues in a different setting much more than you’d expect.

Avoid gossip

It can be easy to get caught up in Chinese whispers when you’re working with the same people everyday. But the last thing you want is to be a part of a ‘he said, she said’ tangle of webs. This is incredibly unprofessional and can lead to tension between colleagues. If someone comes to you with the latest gossip, you’re better off turning a blind eye and keeping what you’ve heard to yourself.

Don’t be cliquey

If you’re new, try to make an effort to spend a little time with every member of the team to avoid seeming too cliquey. You should make an effort to mingle with people you may not have naturally been drawn to and this way you can discover who you have things in common with. Attaching yourself to one group won’t give you the opportunity to 

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