You might not think they're relationship building activities, but they are!
No matter where your workplace is or what it may look like, there are some simple things that will get you some big points with your colleagues. Building relationships in the office goes beyond your solid and admirable job performance- you and your co-workers are like your own ecosystem. Taking care of each other- and your workspace!- will help everyone grow.
Here's a quick list of a few ways you can gain major points with your colleagues- right now, today! We promise your officemates will cheer and you'll get points if:
1. You replace the empties: Paper in the printer, tissues in the breakroom, that imposing jug of Poland Spring for the cooler (OK, that might take help...). If you happen to be the one to wipe out an office resource, replenish it and save your colleagues that moment of "why isn't this printing? THE PRINTER IS EMPTY!?" That's just good karma.
2. And you learn how to do so: Sometimes, when it comes to maintaining our office environment, we hide behind the "I don't know how-where-whys" as an excuse to keep us from doing the little things mentioned in number one. There is always someone who knows how to achieve these tasks, and rather than allow the office to come to a screeching halt, ask! Your office manager and support staff will love you for tossing more paper towels above the kitchen sink, and will be glad to steer you in the right direction to find them.
3. Speaking of support staff: It goes without saying, but treat those who keep the office humming with respect and consideration. Remember, they're the ones who stay late to get your envelope to FedEx, or deal with the clogged toilets, or book all your travel just the way you like it. Kindness and gratitude go a long way, and you'll definitely gain points with that essential staff by showing them an abundance of both.
4. You Recycle: Ok, Ok, this isn't just about your work environment, this is about THE environment- you know, the big one! Nowadays, most companies have some sort of receptacles for recycling (if not an overall green initiative!). Utilize them. It's absolutely an investment in your future. Can't keep running to the office "recycling center" all day? Get yourself two small bins that you can keep by your desk and empty when they're full. Crazy bonus points if you use the plastic bag that your lunch was just delivered in- reusing at its best!
5. You participate: Does your company have "Friday lunch"? Or a monthly happy hour? Or a running club? Some of the happiest work cultures have lots of relationship building options for their employees- they know that connecting on a human level leads to more contentment, better communication, and improved job performance. You gain points- with colleagues and superiors- by participating in company culture. And who knows, you might even (gasp!) have fun!
6. You help the interns: Always help the interns. They are the you of the (*ahem*) not-so- distant past. Most times, they're putting in the long hours without much (if any...) compensation, and soaking up all of the on-the-job training possible. Lend them a hand, and show them the ropes when you can. Realize you're helping to build the next generation of professionals. Then give your former "intern-self" a pat on the back.
7. You keep it clean: If you drop it, pick it up. If you brought it in, clear it out. If it's garbage, dispose of it. This goes for everything from the errant scraps you accidentally trailed on the way to lunch and the spoon you used to stir your coffee, to your handouts and the AV set up from your last meeting. (If your tech support takes care of the media in your office, give them a heads up and try to make their job as easy as possible by wrangling all of your components when you're through.) If you aim to leave every place you go in a better state than you found it, you're well on your way to gaining more points with your coworkers. And after all, all of those little points can be cashed in for stronger office relationships! Score.