Moving into a new office space can feel like the very first day of college — It feels strange!
You’ve no idea what to do, and you wish things would get less tensed than they are now. That’s where knowing a face or two within your office boundaries can be beneficial in easing yourself into your new job.
Breaking the ice with your coworkers can be the toughest challenge for some professionals while it can come naturally to others.
Luckily, by following the guide below, you don’t have to exchange too many awkward stares and silent moments with your co-workers in the long run.
- 1 KEY CHARACTERISTICS THAT MAKE YOU A POSITIVE EMPLOYEE IN YOUR FIRST WEEK OF EMPLOYMENT
- 2 4 QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK TO BUILD TRUST DURING YOUR FIRST WEEK OF WORK WITH YOUR CO-WORKERS
- 3 UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SOCIALIZING AND BEING COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE TO YOUR CAREER
- 4 5 REASONS THAT CAN CAUSE YOUR CO-WORKERS TO AVOID YOU
- 5 A CHECK LIST TO TELL IF YOUR CO-WORKERS ADORE YOU AT WORK
- 6 CONCLUSION
KEY CHARACTERISTICS THAT MAKE YOU A POSITIVE EMPLOYEE IN YOUR FIRST WEEK OF EMPLOYMENT
Importance of listening to talking over your peers
Being a new employee, you might be given a generous amount of time to introduce yourself and speak while others listen to you.
It’s important to keep your introduction short and sweet and pass on the chance for others to speak. Listening is just as important as speaking out.
Don’t take the opportunity to introduce yourself as a way of stealing the spotlight from others. Start off with a few lines and let the other coworkers work themselves into a conversation that soon turns into something meaningful and insightful for you to learn about your new office.
A recent research has shown signs of increased productivity within employees when social dynamics are involved. The study shifted the usual set of employees with complete strangers and noticed a significant change in job performance levels. The decreased state of productivity showed that the company’s productivity levels are directly linked to office friendships and meaningful banter.
Remember, to pay attention to others when they speak, you could learn a thing or two about how to present yourself in the new office block. Many veteran employees can share their experiences and the right practices to maintain to stay in the good books of your bosses and senior managers.
Never turn down invitations when your colleagues ask you for lunch
Co-workers are generally friendly towards newcomers and you may receive an invitation to dine with your colleagues on the first day of work. Don’t refuse and politely oblige as this can build a strong relationship with your team in the very first week of work.
A simple dining experience can open a world of introductions that you would have possibly missed out on.
You can get to know important people that may later be designated to your job and your colleagues will have valuable information to share on the work ethics to be followed by you. You can impress your bosses by demonstrating team spirit attitude right from the get-go and can earn the self-respect of your fellow team members.
While it’s natural to be overwhelmingly shy on your first day of work, it’s critical to ensure you don’t bury your head to your computer screen all day and demonstrate your antisocial qualities to the whole office.
Even if you don’t enjoy spending too much time with others, the first week of work is crucial to develop meaningful work relationships that will play an important role in your future career goals.
Don’t be silent throughout the conversation
Avoid being silent during breaks or lunchtime. This can project you as being bored or as an anti-social person. In time, your co-workers may think that they are intruding into your private space and may stop inviting you altogether.
Take the initiative to introduce yourself even if your coworkers haven’t already. By being the first person to open a conversation, you will seem confident to them and your coworkers will appreciate the effort you’ve taken in introducing yourself in the very first week.
Ask questions that you are unsure about, don’t worry about sounding talkative — your co-workers expect you to be the one to ask your doubts.
Show them that you would like to know them on a professional level and that they can always approach you with anything at any time. By being polite and genuine, you can be sure you will be a real star among your colleagues in no time.
Arrive on Time to Catch up on the Latest News doing the Rounds within the Company
Being punctual has its own benefits.
For one, you can catch up with your co-workers and discuss the various issues that have been bothering them in the company and how you can offer your help in solving them. You can build meaningful communications by arriving on time and impressing your boss.
You can share your excitement about joining the team and how coming to work early every day is a joy instead of a chore. Don’t say positive things just to cheer your co-workers up, this can make you sound like you are trying too hard to fit their standards. Maintain a sincere personality, and only say something if you strongly feel it.
By coming to work early, you can also understand the ropes on how certain protocols and services within the company function. Demonstrate your eagerness in learning about the company you are working for and ensure you’ve got your team’s back.
In return, they will have your back covered when your time of need arises.
Rick Conlow demonstrates 7 habits to be an effective employee and how you can accelerate your career development.
4 QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK TO BUILD TRUST DURING YOUR FIRST WEEK OF WORK WITH YOUR CO-WORKERS
1. “Can You Fill Me About Your Role in the Company?”
On your first day of work, it’s important to understand what the other employees do so you can better facilitate your services.
Knowing every co-worker’s role is crucial to understanding how the company functions daily. By asking this question, you open a friendly conversation where you and your co-workers get to know each other better and your job can run more efficiently when you know what everyone’s role in the company is.
Let’s say you were given a task to fulfill and you end up roaming aimlessly in the office only to find out that the person you were tasked to find was sitting next to you all along. It’s quite embarrassing and a complete waste of your precious time.
By introducing yourself, you get to ask the right questions to the right people and end up with valuable information in navigating yourself around the office.
The question also aims to show your self-interest in understanding more about your co-workers and this can be a wonderful gesture that would be appreciated by them.
By conversing and knowing what your co-workers do, you demonstrate strong qualities that can impress your boss and senior managers from your first day of work.
2. “Is there anything that I Can Assist You with?”
Although on your first week of work, you’d be unable to handle any workload other than your own, it’s always helpful to inquire if your fellow colleagues need any assistance.
Most would politely decline and would in-turn try to smoothen your transitional process while others would be glad that you took the initiative to come up to them and ask for assistance.
As a new employee, it’s often in your best interests to help others to learn a valuable thing or two about the company. When you’ve got lesser responsibilities to handle for the day, it’s a perfect time to get things done for someone that could really use your time.
By completing errands for others, you speed up things in normalizing your daily office routine and understand how things work in different sectors.
The hands-on experience that you receive by knowing what others do is invaluable and you also get to win the respect of your colleagues. You don’t have to do the things perfectly; most co-workers will be happy to hand you a few pointers on how to get things right the next time.
3. “What’s the biggest obstacle facing the company today?”
Knowing your company inside out is the first practical challenge you are likely to face.
You can ease this process by asking around on how the company is performing and you are bound to be faced with different opinions by various co-workers.
In the end, you get a much clear picture of how your job role can better contribute to the company as well as pitch yourself as a person that the team can count on.
Your co-workers will be more than happy to run you down on all the lows that the company has touched and why it’s important for the company to work as a team. As part of the company culture, you will be part of the wolf pack before you know it by enlisting yourself as a person that is ready to solve the challenges of the company.
Once you’ve gotten the grasp of the work demands to be expected by you, you can proceed with a plan for solving it and discuss it with your fellow colleagues. If they are faced with a dilemma you can offer your own solution to their problem and end up making them appreciate your efforts for solving their problems.
4. “Can I Join You for Lunch to Discuss how my position can better help you?”
There’s no better way of winning hearts of your co-workers than by dining with them in the break room whenever the opportunity arises. You could offer to share your food or buy them a drink or two on your first week to ensure you go a step further.
However, don’t go overboard if you can’t afford it.
This gives you an opportunity to understand your co-workers and the departments that they work in a whole lot better.
Cultivate business relationships by offering your email and asking them to send you any relevant news that could help you understand the company better.
Once you know the basic backdrop of their work environment you can offer up your assistance or clear your doubts in the process.
Breaks are usually the perfect time to communicate when things are less stressful, and everyone has removed themselves from the work environment. It’s also important to be polite and not invade their personal space without first consulting them.
Not all employees are open to converse and they may have deadlines to deal with.
UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SOCIALIZING AND BEING COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE TO YOUR CAREER
There is a time and place for discussing office banters. Draw a fine line between crossing the boundaries of small talk and intruding into your co-worker’s personal space.
Many don’t like to discuss their private lives in a professional environment.
Your first week of work should be about understanding how things work and how you can offer your services to your co-workers, so they can better understand you.
If someone seems busy, it’s not considered polite to engage in conversation, come back when they aren’t busy. Not all conversations will be positive, there may be times when you co-workers disagree with you and it’s in your best interests to take it in the right spirit. Don’t spend your time arguing about a topic just to have it seen your way, don’t lose focus on why you got the job in the first place.
While socializing during the first week one can build better relationships in the workplace, too much talk can cause the reverse effect. The workplace is a “home away from home” and hence, you are bound to be faced by overly socializing co-workers trying to take over your work time.
Do let them know politely that you are busy and need to complete the deadline. In this way, they will learn to respect your work time and you will still earn their respect without sounding rude.
Never divulge your entire personal life among your co-workers, this is a place to develop meaningful relationships, not the gossip club. Letting yourself loose with your personal life can cause a spawning ground of mistrust and jealousy to cause harm to your otherwise harmonious work life.
Competitiveness is bound to happen in an office environment and there is no way to get past this aspect. The best you can do is to bolster the team’s spirit instead of trying to run everyone down. Remember, teamwork builds creativity and the famous words to live by are “United We Stand, Divided We Fall”.
Finally, it’s alright to have a laugh and relax with your co-workers frequently, just draw a fine boundary between yourself and your work life. Office celebrations are a great way to showcase that you truly love your co-workers and you should be able to attend every small celebration that is hosted.
Always maintain your emotions when conversing with fellow colleagues.
Here’s an informative video by Rebecca on “How to Socialize Well”. The tips deal with responding to individuals and how you should react when a question is raised.
5 REASONS THAT CAN CAUSE YOUR CO-WORKERS TO AVOID YOU
Bragging All the Time
While your co-workers would be interested in knowing about you and where you came from, put a tight leash on being boastful.
In a professional space, your past achievements will have no role to play unless you can maintain a humble demeanor and convert your achievements into a helping hand.
You Complain a Lot
Just because the coffee machine isn’t working, doesn’t mean you hurl abuses at it and constantly try to derail every positive aspect that the company has in place.
Your co-workers are bound to take notice of your nasty verbal talk and will begin to maintain a distance from you. Avoid being the “office jerk”.
You’re never part of the team meetings, you never come up with a clever idea, yet you are the first to stand in line when the reward of a project gets announced. You will eventually feel the wrath of your co-workers breathing down your neck if you are a lazy individual that tries to get today’s work down, the week after.
It’s okay to let loose a slang or two occasionally, but to be constantly using foul language is a strict no. You should also keep your topics off people’s personal affairs and politics.
While it’s okay to gossip, it’s not okay to make filthy jokes about your co-workers. Similarly, it’s important to dress well and show up to the office and not look like you just woke up from last Friday’s party.
Not Being Autonomous
Do you constantly ask your co-workers to do things for you that you could’ve easily done yourself? Like trying to crop and edit a picture or a solution that you could have easily found on Google?
Co-workers dislike individuals that tend to be ignorant of new age trends. It’s good practice to understand how a system works, it’s okay to ask a colleague to set you up the first time but after that take the initiative to learn the procedure.
A CHECK LIST TO TELL IF YOUR CO-WORKERS ADORE YOU AT WORK
- As soon as you walk in the door, they start to explain how they forgot to complete their work last night
- When you feel stressed at work, they offer to ease your pain by guiding you on how to get the work done
- They inform you of big events happening within the company (a major project coming your way, a promotion in the talks, etc.)
- They find ways to ask you to go out with them after office hours for a movie perhaps (the fun doesn’t just end at work)
- They find an excuse to come to your cubicle to find a hot topic to gossip about (Did you hear? — the boss was out partying last night while we were all hard at work)
- They offer compliments on how stunningly well dressed you are and inquire about where you get your shopping done
- They offer you snacks or sweets and invite you to short coffee breaks often
- Your co-workers will often cheer you up when you’ve had a loud session with the boss
- When they ask you minor details about your personal life and want to understand you as a person
- They prefer communicating with you verbally even though they have your emails to send a mail
- They often smile when your eyes meet during office hours
- They add the selfies and pictures that you took with them to their social media accounts
Employees who tend to maintain a solid relationship with their co-workers are known to be extremely happy coming to work. Our brains are hardwired to naturally converse with others and develop relationships or human beings would be extinct. The smaller the company, the higher the rate of interactions with your colleagues.
Motivate yourself every day and indulge in healthy competition but don’t take the reward of the result seriously, the real prize is the profound relationship that you share with your office peers. Maintain an upbeat work culture and stick to “smart” camaraderie.