Let’s face it. Jobs are boring. Not only that, but sometimes you have to work with people that aren’t exactly Miss Congeniality. What’s a person to do? Simple. Make friends. The key to popularity is all about having fun so we’ve compiled some great tips to not only help you get through the day, but maybe win some new friends along the way.
1. Bring chocolate
This is some serious stuff, and don’t ever let someone tell you differently, especially a female somebody. There are actual studies that document this fact, so make yourself an office favorite by spreading some chocolaty good cheer. Don’t believe us? Check out this article by psychcentral.com.
2. Start paying it forward:
Offer to pick up the tab on your coworker’s lunch, or maybe treat them to a cup of coffee, then tell them to pay it forward. It’s amazing how grateful people feel as a result of some simple kindness. Not only that, but you might inspire them to be kind to others, too.
3. Start a physical fitness challenge:
This might not make you all that popular, but it might help motivate your coworkers to start getting into shape. That’s never a bad thing. And let’s not forget, exercise makes you feel better. This according to research from the American Psychological Association. Their study suggests that physical fitness leads to improved mood, self-concept, and work behavior. Hey, maybe Mr. Grouchy Pants in the cubicle next door can be reformed?
4. Be a mentor:
No one likes starting a new job. It’s even worse if everyone treats you like a monkey harboring the plague. Be kind to new employees, offer to show them the ropes. You’ll win a new friend.
5. Offer to lighten someone else’s work load:
Yes, you have your own to-do list, but there’s nothing wrong with offering to help when you find yourself at a momentary lull. Most people are appreciative of just the offer. Recognition that someone has noticed how hard you’re working helps garner warm fuzzy feelings from your hard-working friends.
6. Learn their likes and dislikes:
Be careful not to cross into stalker-realm with this one, but there’s nothing wrong with memorizing how someone likes their coffee, or what their favorite sandwich might be, or their favorite flavor of soda. These types of things say you’re paying attention, and that you care.
7. Organize a cubicle decorating contest:
These days it can be tough to get the boss to sign off on holiday events, but there’s nothing wrong with drawing attention to your favorite cause. How about painting the town, er, cubicle pink in honor of Think Pink. Or red for heart disease awareness. Or green for muscular dystrophy. Add some color to your co-worker’s life. Here’s a list of colors and their causes to get you started.
8. Start a book club:
It doesn’t even have to be a book club. You could start a football fan club, or a choir, or coffee of the month club. Research shows that socializing with your coworkers is good for bonding.
9. Do some baking:
You are what you eat, and if what you eat is yummy, you’ll instantly become an office favorite. The good scientists at Dartmouth have done the math, and it really is true. The way to a man – or woman’s’ – heart is through their belly. Here’s a few other ways to improve a work mate’s mood, compliments of Dartmouth.
10. Start a football pool:
Or play office bingo. Or Jeopardy! It’s good for morale, plus who doesn’t like a little friendly competition? Check out some cool ideas from Pinterest.
11. Steer clear of talking about yourself:
This is a serious downer. Plus, nobody likes to hear about your fabulous family life day in and day out (Facebook is bad enough). Instead, ask your coworkers about their lives. Show them you care by lending a friendly ear from time-to-time.
12. Orchestrate a “bring your dog to work day” or “kid” day, or something fun:
Your co-workers will love you for trying to break up the monotony.
13. Invite people out to eat:
Who doesn’t love to eat? This is a great way to get to know your coworkers, too.
14. Start a raffle:
Ask a manager if you can liven up weekly meetings by offering a raffle. Not only will you increase meeting attendance, you might win a cool prize, too.
15. Bring some really great coffee to work:
Have you ever noticed the smell of coffee is like an aphrodisiac? You can bring your co-workers to a standstill by the smell of some high-quality caffeine. You can chat over a cup of Joe.
16. Coordinate a pot luck:
You don’t have to do this on special occasions. It’s fun to coordinate potlucks throughout the year. Give your coworkers a theme. Marvelous Mexican Monday. Super salad Wednesday. Finger food Friday. Need more ideas? http://www.signupgenius.com/home/potluck-themes.cfm
17. Play a prank:
Lighten the mood. Don’t take yourself too seriously, and don’t let others take themselves too seriously either. We’re particularly fond of the aluminum foil prank, but check this list of best office pranks on wackyowl.com.
18. Organize a sports day:
People love to get outside. It’s even more fun to root for your favorite professional sports team, and even better if you’re hanging out with office friends. Have fun dressing up in team colors.
19. Don’t be a snitch:
Did you catch someone coming in late from lunch? Is someone dating a coworker? Did you catch a major boo-boo that someone else made? Don’t be a tattle-tale. You’ll score more points, and more friends, by keeping your mouth shut.
20. And don’t be a gossip:
There’s nothing worse than that person who stops by your cubicle all the time to tell you the latest office on-dit. Don’t encourage gossip. Be polite and listen, but don’t return the favor, and for heavens sake, don’t repeat what you hear.
21. Organize a car pool:
Save money, save wear and tear on vehicles, and save yourself some time. Most big cities have car pool lanes that allow people to fly to work. Some companies even offer car pool incentives. Enjoy the ride. Get to know your cubicle compadres.
22. Make people laugh.
It’s not a myth that laughter relieves stress. The Mayo clinic says laughter stimulates circulation and aids in muscle relaxation. People love to laugh, so score some points by being the office clown.
23. Become a cheerleader for charity:
Do you have a passion for feeding the hungry? Clothing the poor? Share it with your co-workers. Set up a donation box in the lobby. Not only will you be helping those in need, you’ll help your co-workers feel good about themselves.
24. Don’t talk politics:
There’s no bigger turnoff than listening to someone go on and on about their favorite political candidate, especially if you happen to think that politician is a complete moron. You might be guilty by association.
25. Say thank you:
Perhaps the most important thing of all, and something that will endear you to your colleague forever, a simple thank you for all that they do.
It’s not hard to score points with your coworkers. It’s all about putting them first. With a little thoughtfulness and some creativity, you’ll find yourself the most popular employee around.
Pamela is the author of thirty-eight romance novels with more coming out every year. She’s best known for her NASCAR romance novels, but writes non-fiction, too. Pamela’s a regular columnist for the American Quarter Horse “Journal” and writes for SuperMoney.com where she shares her personal finance tips on how to thrive in this economy.