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Making friends at work

Deel Team

The topic of making friends at work can be tricky. Many people enjoy socializing, but many also like to keep work separate from their personal life. There is also the issue of how genuine friendships at work can be.

Personally, I met some of my closest friends at work and enjoy spending the workday with friends. Here are some thoughts and tips I always find helpful to keep in mind when building relationships with my colleagues.

Keep a positive attitude

We all have ups and downs, and being in a bad mood shouldn’t be considered a fault. However, a positive attitude can do wonders in helping build solid relationships. And the good news is that you can train it, to an extent, by being mindful of details like these:

  • Celebrate small successes (both your own and your colleagues’ successes)
  • Acknowledge hard work
  • Be kind and empathetic
  • Initiate fun activities such as happy hour drinks
  • Keep your criticism or complaints constructive and actionable

Actively connect

Your colleagues are people with passions, hobbies, and interests, just like you, and chances are you share at least a few of them. 

Take some time to chat about non-work related topics, and see what sparks a connection. 

Starting conversations isn’t easy for everyone, but there are many other ways to connect. From memes to playlists to interest groups and off-topic Slack channels, there are ways to communicate for everyone!

Recognize the signs

A positive and proactive attitude is great, but recognizing that people are connecting with you is equally important. Perhaps you are invited to a group activity or after-work drinks. Maybe someone regularly reacts to your posts or asks to connect with you via social media. 

These are all good signs that can lead to new friendships with your coworkers.

Don’t feel pressured

These tips will not work for everyone. We all have different needs and preferences when it comes to socialization and friendship, and you should never feel pressured to act in ways that make you feel uncomfortable.

If you don’t feel the need to make friends at work, that is perfectly fine too!


Did you know that the average person spends roughly 90,000 hours at work, equating to approximately one-third of a lifetime? 

Gallup poll reveals that people with a best friend at work are twice as likely to be engaged in their job and produce higher-quality work. Additional research indicates that having work friendships boosts morale and provides a robust support system during stressful times.

I’m curious about what your feelings on the matter are. Do you like to make friends at work, or do you prefer to keep work and personal life separate? Do you have other tips and ideas to help people connect more easily?


Deel Team

Love the topic!

I get attached to people pretty easily, but I think I can draw a line between a professional and personal relationship. For example, at a previous company, I grew to be friends with my editor, but we kept it very professional in our project management tools where the rest of the team was present. 🙂 Her feedback used to be harsh sometimes even though we were friends 😅

I don't have any particular tips other than the ones you mentioned in the post. But I do know I work much better when I'm surrounded by people I can talk to about personal matters, too. I love that research corroborates it! 😄

For a star to be born, there is one thing that must happen: a gaseous nebula must collapse. So collapse. Crumble. This is not your destruction. This is your birth.

Weekender II

Having friends at work definitely makes the job easier, just having someone that can empathize with the same situation as you make it easier to go through the day -- even if that means talking about your boss that day LOL! Just my 2 cents, alongside this, one must also know what boundaries they want to establish with their "work" friends, as some people might take it differently than others, being clear with what you look for is something we should have in mind before we do this!

Very good points, @MarkAP. The ability to manage boundaries at work is a skill everyone would benefit from practicing 😀

Deel Team


Well, I'm lucky that I don't work in an office, cause I'm this person. 🤣

For a star to be born, there is one thing that must happen: a gaseous nebula must collapse. So collapse. Crumble. This is not your destruction. This is your birth.

I think having people like this in a team is also important, @StefanaZ 😉