A Guide to: Socialising at work
Jul 03, 2021
A friendly and social workplace is a happy and productive workplace. Friendly relationships and mentorships between co-workers creates a fantastic environment for a strong team to work effectively together and is directly linked to your own work satisfaction/happiness. Whilst you shouldn’t put pressure on yourself to make life-long friends at work, maintaining a respectful and positive dialogue with your co-workers and managers will be sure to benefit you.
Note - Make sure socialising does not inhibit or distract you from your job!
Socialising with managers and seniors (mentorship)
In terms of socialising with someone who is your senior at work, certain things should be kept in mind. You should remember that your managers are the ones in charge at the end of the day and building a solid rapport with them will serve you well for future promotions and even the way you are treated on day to day shifts.
Often, the difference in position at work can create a social obstacle and through appreciating your bosses, treating them with respect and paying close attention to the instructions they give, you can improve your relationship with them. Engaging in small talk and non-work related talk is still encouraged but just make sure you use appropriate language and are still achieving the task at hand.
One of the best types of relationships you can have with a senior is a mentorship, whereby they try and pass on some of the most important learnings and advice from their years of experience in the industry. Having a relationship of this kind with at least one senior/manager is incredibly beneficial as it gives you someone to turn to if you are having difficulties with a task or just want to improve your skills outside your current role for a future promotion. Such a situation could be if you were working at a coffee shop and wanted to learn how to make coffee from one of the barista’s. Mentorships can be informal and just occur naturally or you could ask someone at work that you admire and look after you to help you achieve some of your goals in the workplace.
Socialising with coworkers (Friendships)
Your work experience can be defined by the friendships and support network you make with fellow co-workers. Having a great relationship with them will keep any competition or rivalries in the workplace to a minimum and make your shifts go by all the more enjoyable. Our main advice is to just throw yourself out there and be genuine;
Don’t copy playground behaviour
Whilst you may still be at highschool, do not bring the hierarchical social complexities to the workplace. Try to be as respectful and inclusive, showing everyone that you’re a team player. Further, whilst banter can be acceptable in certain circumstances, try not to offend anyone or talk behind anyone's back (especially the managers!) as this can be a fast way to getting laid off.
Avoid raising controversial issues
Until you truly get to know your work colleagues and clients, avoid raising controversial issues such as religion, sex or politics. And even when you do get to know them better, don’t assume that everyone is comfortable talking about these issues. Check the temperature of the room before diving headfirst into a sensational conversation about the state of the Catholic Church or the Labor Party.
There is no need to try and fit into a perfect mould at work. Be yourself and be genuine. Don’t feel like you need to love the Sydney Swans if everyone at work does, be honest and people will like you for who you really are and you will contribute more to the diversity of the workplace.