How two randstad employees made their virtual friendship flourish.
In this blog, colleagues Nakisa and Caitlin tell us how they became friends at work when Nakisa joined Randstad during the pandemic, and share their top tips on maintaining lasting work relationships:
For colleagues, new and old, having friends at work is crucial to performance, engagement, and overall happiness in the workplace and in day-to-day life. Everyone needs that one person they can go to, the one who just gets them and who also understands their work environment- it doesn’t have to be just one person either, it can be two, three, four...the friendship opportunities are endless!
These friendships are more than just having someone to take a coffee break with or vent to, although coffee and a good vent session is always a good idea, they’ve actually been reported as a leading contributor for job satisfaction. As two outgoing individuals who thrive on social interaction, we can truly attest to this. Plus at Randstad, both before and during the pandemic, we have always made sure that we spend time building relationships with our colleagues, both in our immediate teams and the wider business: having a good work friend can make coming into work each day that little bit more enjoyable!
However, forming friendships with colleagues may not be as easy as it was in the days where we all spent 8+ hours a day together in the workplace. Virtual friendships can take a bit more effort, not only to make but also to maintain - we promise that they are just as rewarding though.
As virtual work-friends turned real-life BFFs (cheesy as it sounds, best friends forever), we’ve created 6 tips to help your work friendships, new and old, blossom.
6 top tips for making work friendships work for you.
1. Be authentic and stay true to yourself.
First and foremost, you should always unapologetically be yourself. Your individuality is so important; you bring something special to the team you are working in and to the friendships you make. Friendships aren’t formed based on what you think people want you to be like, they’re formed on your true personality.
2. Make plans to meet in-person.
We won’t lie and say we weren’t nervous when we decided to meet up for the first time. Even though we messaged constantly and cultivated a wonderful virtual friendship, we weren’t sure if we would have anything to talk about in-person- we were wrong! Get out of your comfort zone and take the plunge to meet up, that’s how friendships grow.
3. Make time for regular catch-ups, coffee break, anyone?
Whether they’re mini morning catch-ups before a meeting or small afternoon pick-me-ups, it’s important to catch-up with your work friends (virtually or in the office). Not only does it remind them that you are there for them but it also helps break up your day. Remember, they don’t always have to be work related, you can use these interludes just to get to know someone a little better.
4. Be inclusive, just because you click doesn’t mean you have to be click-y.
It’s wonderful to have found a work bff and kindred spirit, but just be mindful of the rest of the team - you don’t want to make anyone feel excluded from conversations! It’s natural for people to form closer connections with some people than with others, but make sure you don’t inadvertently rule any friendships out by sticking with one or two people. Top tip: If you’re going for lunch or just a fresh air break, invite the team to come with.
5. Take your time.
Building friendships takes time and chances are not everyone you work with is going to become your best friend. There will always be people you instantly click with and gravitate towards and there will be others where the connection may not be as instantaneous- that's okay. Have fun and get to know everyone, you’re bound to find some common ground, even if that’s just bonding over your favourite TV show or food (we’re partial to Gilmore Girls and pizza).
6. Remain positive.
Encourage each other and lend a helping hand when you think others in the team may need it. Things haven’t been easy these past 2 years… take this opportunity to bring a positive attitude to your work friendships. Equally, don’t be afraid to show a bit of vulnerability too - if you are struggling, reach out to those around you for support. This can really help with the overall mental wellbeing and morale of the team.
We hope you find these tips useful - good luck with building those friendships!