While some professionals come by it easily, there are many out in the working world who hold a certain stigma towards office socializing. They can be perfectly pleasant at work, exchanging greetings, conducting regular chit chat in the break room, but come at 5 o’clock, they leave work and their coworkers behind.
Now, these aren’t bad or rude people, it’s just that some feel that socializing with coworkers introduces too many potential issues. But in reality, socializing with those you work with is not only safe, but it’s a genuinely good idea.
Here are just a few of the benefits that can be had from socializing with your coworkers.
Makes for a more efficient workforce.
The connection between coworkers makes a business’ workforce stronger. By having the occasional post-work hang-out, coworkers start to build those stronger connections outside of work which is then brought into work. People more easily get on the same page about projects, new employees are brought up to speed quicker, details are hashed out in a more timely and efficient manner. It can be hard for a manager to see, but coworkers who are closer operate more as a unit.
Helps inspire collaboration.
Part of those stronger connections means that people more easily get to know one another. Without time together outside of work, it can take a long time for coworkers to become comfortable with each other to the point that they can freely collaborate on work. Socializing establishes that comfort zone earlier one, allowing for collaboration to occur more naturally and, in most cases, yielding stronger work.
Allows for more openness.
Communication is always key in the workplace, no matter what relationship exists between coworkers. However, when coworkers get to know each other in a social setting it makes for a relationship that can be more open than those that are strictly professional, while still remaining respectful. This can be very valuable when it comes to small things like giving and receiving feedback, as well as more substantial issues like conflict resolution. Openness means there is generally more dialogue so problems can often be addressed and handled before they become serious.
Happy workers are healthy workers. Studies have shown that socializing among coworkers leads to better morality within the workplace, which in turn leads to better health for those employees. Forming friendships and relationships at work makes it a happier, enjoyable environment without having to sacrifice productivity.
The all-important networking. As we’ve mentioned time and time again on this site, networking has become an essential part of the modern working world. Even if you’re not looking for work, or not planning to have to look for work, networking allows you to foster those relationships that can be helpful if you find yourself out of work. Socializing with coworkers is just one more way to expand that network.