Most Americans spend at least 40 hours a week with their coworkers.
If that’s the case for you, your time in the office will be much more enjoyable if you’ve got a good working relationship with them.
That doesn’t mean you have to be friends with everybody in the office — but it does mean you should be a considerate coworker.
Business Insider spoke to career experts to find out simple things you can do in less than a minute to be more likable at work.
You know that person you always take the elevator with or see in the kitchen but never talk to? Introduce yourself.
“If you think it’s awkward that you don’t know their name, chances are they feel the same way,” Alexandra Dickinson, a career and negotiation expert and membership strategy lead at SoFi, told Business Insider. “Making the first move takes guts, and you’re acknowledging the potentially embarrassing fact that that you don’t really know each other.”
“The next time someone asks you how you’re doing, share something with them that goes beyond ‘I’m good, and you?’ Then reciprocate,” Dickinson said.
Keep the conversation professional, but you can share some details without resorting to a dismissive one-word answer like Emily Charlton from “The Devil Wears Prada.”
“Something as simple as showing someone that you are listening to them goes a long way toward building connections,” Dickinson said. “There’s a psychological concept called the norm of reciprocity that makes someone mirror what you do. If you share, they will too.”
Sure, you notice little things about your coworkers, like that Bill from accounting always picks up lunch at noon on the dot or that your boss is anti-Oxford comma. But do you know anything about their lives outside of the 9-to-5? Again, be professional and respectful of boundaries, but it’s OK to talk about more than work.
“Ask questions and listen to demonstrate a genuine interest in them,” Vicki Salemi, a career expert at Monster told Business Insider. “Since we spend so much time at work and often see our colleagues more than our family and friends, it’s natural for conversations to veer into personal territory.”
Everyone likes to be recognized for a job well done. It’s easy to say thank you or to congratulate someone on a big achievement like landing a new client or getting promoted.
“If you worked together on a project, take time to thank your colleague. Even if you didn’t collaborate on something, but you noticed how hard your colleague worked, point it out,” Salemi said.
When you get into the office in the morning, say good morning to people, and make small talk in the elevator — even though you’d rather finish the podcast your listening to.
“Be friendly and kind to one another. Be approachable and open — say hello in the hallway, smile, make eye contact — it really is that simple,” Salemi said. “Demonstrate a positive attitude and be the person you want to be around.”