According to Virgin Pulse, 66% of American workers report that positive relationships in the workplace increase their productivity. While you’re bound to grow close to coworkers when you work in the same department or help with the same projects, finding common interests that expand beyond the office walls will solidify those friendships.

For example, I am an avid runner. Many other HNI members share this hobby and great friendships have formed. We enjoy finding opportunities to run together, such as at the HNI 5K that takes place every August. If running isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other ways to bond with fellow employees!

Pick a day of the week to sit in the break room for lunch or leave the office and grab a bite together. This will help you to decompress from the morning, but also have a little fun with friends before finishing up the day. You can also schedule an after work dinner or a weekend coffee get together to build the friendships outside of the office.

Another way to grow closer to your coworkers is to participate in volunteer activities together. Whether it’s Junior Achievement or the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, volunteering is a great way to meet and/or hang out with your coworkers outside of work. Plus, this is also a great resume builder for when you’re ready to take your next move!

I highly recommend getting to know your workspace neighbors – you might find out that you have more in common than office furniture!

Finding a shared hobby, such as running, is a great way to bond with your coworkers.

Finding a shared hobby, such as running, is a great way to bond with your coworkers.

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