Do you remember your first day at work? And do you remember who were your first lunch dates? And who first approached you? Everyone has their own memories of their early days at their workplace and over time, friendships are formed and bonds created. Different office cultures may have different ways but here are five typical ways Singaporeans bond at work.
If you are a smoker, this is probably one of the most natural ways you bond with people either during your National Service days or at work. Back in school, there’s something about sneaking off to break some rules together. Whoever does it with you automatically bonds closer with you having been through some imaginary thick and thin situations. You’re like “brothers”. It’s somewhat similar when you go for smoke breaks at work. You share your lighter and then you share your stories. Male or female, it doesn’t matter. You’re all in this together – smokers taking five.
Not everybody smokes. That doesn’t stop the typical Singaporean from taking an alternative five. That’s getting your caffeine shots either from the pantry or from the nearby cafe. The key takeaway from teabreaks are usually not the tea or coffee but the jalan jalan to the cafe. That’s where you exchange work grievances and if you are fortunate enough to get time to sit down and enjoy your drink, you can be sure you’ll get to know your colleague a hell lot better.
Face it. No one works a full eight hours, all focused. As with most companies, the office communicator is a useful tool for exchanging work stuff and questions as well as personal gossip and catch ups. It’s also the most convenient tool to arrange lunch sessions with colleagues. Hiding behind a screen, it’s a great tool to break down any inhibition, get to know colleagues and form bonds and friendships.
Almost every friendship in the office started at lunch. The people whom you lunch with are almost definitely the people whom you feel closer to in the office. Lunch time is the official work hours the company set aside for building relationship and rapport! What better time to build friendship at lunches and before you realise, you will be discussing the next venue for lunch.
When a colleague accepts an invitation to chillax after work, you know the colleague is keen to be more involved with the group and be one of the guys. And when colleagues do hang out together after office hours, when the interaction among them isn’t just confined to the four walls of the office, it’s no longer just colleagues. It’s friendship.