A Quick Guide to Career-Enhancing Social Behavior at Work

career-enhancingDo you socialize with others in your workplace? Since you can spend as much as 33 percent of your life at the office, it’s likely that you’ll see your co-workers as much as your loved ones. Regardless of how business-focused you strive to be, it’s inevitable that you’ll eventually engage in some socializing through work.

So, you might be wondering what the rules are regarding friendships and dating in the workplace. What are the boundaries?

Consider these facts if you want to successfully engage in social behavior at work:

  1. Your ability to socialize matters. Being social and friendly to your co-workers is highly rated by most supervisors. As a supervisor, it’s reassuring to know that your employees get along well. This makes the work environment a happier place.
     
  2. Your treatment of co-workers matters. Treat others the way you want to be treated. It makes life easier if we’re kind and willing to offer assistance to others, especially at work. This is the foundation of teamwork.
  3. Strive to be helpful. A smart way to conduct yourself at the office is to demonstrate that you’re willing to lend a hand to your co-workers.
     
  4. The research is relevant. There are two types of employees. There are the “all-business” ones who like to work alone instead of with a team, and the “polite” employees who are social and helpful to co-workers. Research has found that prospective employers preferred to hire the “polite” applicants.
  • According to the Psychology Today website, the “polite” applicant would be offered, on average, $130 more starting salary per month than the “all-business” applicant.
  1. Recognize that meetings provide a chance to socialize. When you work with others in a professional setting, it’s common to attend meetings. The time before and after meetings can be peak opportunities for some career socializing.
  • Use the downtime before, during, and after meetings to carefully choose how you’ll take part in social exchanges. Show friendly interest in others during these times. It’s best to avoid gossiping or too much non-work chatting.
  • When your goal is to be friendly, helpful, and productive, you’ll have an idea of when to partake in or avoid certain conversations.
  1. Have healthy personal boundaries. It’s important to create boundaries with those you work with. Avoid getting involved in questionable interactions.
  • Getting overly friendly with a co-worker or using work time as a replacement for your social life are behaviors to avoid at the office. Concentrate on being helpful and hard-working, as opposed to establishing close personal relationships, if you want to get ahead in your career.
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  • Avoid dating someone in your immediate work environment. Even though it sounds like a good idea now, you have to consider the possibility of a break up. You’ll have to see your ex at work each day and it can become awkward for everyone. Tread carefully!
  1. Avoid taking part in snarky, sarcastic, or angry exchanges. The only way to come out of any of these conversations looking competent is to avoid taking part in them altogether.
  • Distance yourself from these situations unless you believe you can swiftly and effectively quell the behavior by identifying common ground or diverting the topic of discussion.

To get the most out of your job, it’s wise to know about how your social behavior can help you get ahead professionally. The more polite, helpful, and cheerful you are to those around you, the more abundant your own life will be. Allow yourself to blossom socially at work and achieve greater success at the office.

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