However you decide to see this fact, whether good or bad, you can't deny the truth - You probably spend more time with your co-workers than you do with anyone else. Scary, ey?
When you're in an office environment, in any major city, the people you work with become almost like family. So, it makes a huge difference to have a meaningful relationship with them.
Not only does it strategically benefit your career but it also makes work, that much more bearable and you have a solid support system for when things don't go to plan.
So, here are four simple tips to encourage a stronger bond between you and your co-workers;
1. Offer Help
Think of the last time you were struggling at work. Maybe you were swamped and overwhelmed, or perhaps you had things going on at home, diminishing your ability to deal with your workload.
Wouldn't it have been nice if someone had stopped by your desk and provided some support? Or even offered to take something off your plate? Wouldn't that offer of support, alone, have made you feel so much more valued and supported? Absolutely. So, why not do that same thing for a colleague? When you see someone who's stressed or confused, just ask: Is there anything I can do to help?
Even if your co-worker doesn't actually take you up, on your offer, just the fact that you recognised their struggle and wanted to do something about it, goes a long way in fostering a more empathetic culture around you.
2. Make friends
Try to forge a relationship with the person, not just the job title.
Get to know their interests and hobbies - who knows you may have more in common than you first thought. Friends at work shouldn't be totally off-limits, so long as there are boundaries and it doesn't impact your duties, then, there is no reason why you can't share your hours with your co-workers in a more meaningful way.
3. Give praise
Everyone loves to have their ego stroked. However, providing genuine recognition or praise for work, makes someone feel really special and even motivates them to push on during the hardest days. Don't be afraid to speak up when you think someone in your office has done a great job. These sorts of comments make a huge impact when it comes to helping others in your office feel valued. It also creates a supportive and healthy work environment.
4. Practice kindness
Little acts of kindness go along way. You never, really, know how someone is feeling, on any given day and your small act of kindness could really uplift them.
Pick up some snacks, ask your colleague if they need anything for lunch or bring someone a coffee, or a cup of tea. These things might sound simple but they are effective ways to sprinkle kindness into your colleagues day.
If you want to take it to the next level - be mindful of when your co-worker has reached their stress capacity and if you have a lot less work - offer to help them, even stay late with them. This type of support will be remembered and it's likely they'll help you out in the future too.
Plus, as an added bonus, doing these sorts of things makes you feel good too!
These four strategies are incredibly simple and they are great for showing your co-workers that you actually care about them. And they're incredibly simple and take almost zero effort on your part.
So what are you waiting for? Create a better, kinder and more supportive work environment and reap the rewards!