Have you ever wondered why you can't keep away from checking social media notifications? Or why don't you want to skip a community gathering? It’s our nature as humans to socialise.
Unfortunately, not everyone can socialise. When the weekend comes, some people choose to send text messages to see all their friends. For others, weekends mean spending time alone with Netflix or Youtube. There's nothing wrong with spending time alone on the weekend, especially if you are a worker who spends 5/7 days in the office. You might need to recharge your energy or do things you can’t do on the weekdays.
However, are you aware of the competition of survival, forcing us to only focus on winning in life? In the midst of it all, we forget how helpful socialisation is for us. Let's answer this quick question: have you spent enough time socialising? Do you think you have a good balance of time spent with others?
Signs that you don't socialise enough
Laurie Hollman, Ph.D, said, “being too solitary leads to obsessing about worries, losing perspective on everyday problems, and often feeling lonely and even depressed.”
With everything you have on your plates, prioritising time to be with friends and family can easily fall by the wayside. Consider these five signs, and if they happen to you, you are not socialising enough.
1. You don't know who to call if something wrong happens
Ask yourself, whom you would call if something terrible happened. Jennifer Weaver-Breitenbecher LMHC, CRC, said, “when someone struggles to answer this question, it's a major red flag that they aren't connected enough to other human beings.”
2. You're anxious
Being alone is your favourite choice when you feel anxious. Whereas socialising helps boost happiness. A podcast uploaded to UFHealth Podcast found that adults who socialise have better mental health than their peers who don't spend time with others.
3. You're not meeting anyone new
A signal that you're not socialising is that you don't meet new people. You may need time to make a new friend. However, meeting new people freshens up your life, and you never know who you'll end up bonding with.
4. Struggling to deal with grief
According to Everyday Health, people who get social support from friends and family can cope with their grief better. If you find it difficult to wake up from feeling sad, it's a sign you're not socialising enough.
5. You're often sick
Sickness may seem to have nothing to do with how much time you spend around others. But loneliness can affect mental health. A study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that loneliness affects the immune system.
The effect of socialising
According to research, assuming 8 hours of sleep a night, we spend 35% of our total waking hours over a 50-year working period at work. That means more than a third of our lives there. That's why deciding how to spend time is essential. Keep it confined to your workspace or use this time to build team relationships.
Just chatting, saying hi, or discussing hobbies are examples of socialisation in the office. Some people think that chit-chat in the workplace only hinders team productivity. A study by The McKinsey Global Institute shows that productivity increases by 20-25% in organisations with connected employees.
1. Improved Communication & Collaboration
Lack of communication can make the work environment stiff. When coworkers socialise outside of work, it makes working together more comfortable. When employees hang out, it allows them to form deeper bonds.
Without shared time outside of work, it can take a long time for coworkers to feel relaxed collaborating on work. Socialising establishes a comfortable zone early, making collaboration more effective.
2. Efficient workforce
Through post-work hang-out, slowly, coworkers start to build those stronger connections, whether it's about hobbies or work. People will find it easier to get in the same boat about projects.
3. Healthy and bring happiness
Happy workers are workers who are mentally and physically healthy. One of the components of productivity is mentally and physically stable, so there is no stress and burnout. Starting friendships creates positive vibes in the workplace.
Do you still doubt the relationship between socialisation and productivity from the three criteria above?
The health benefits of socialising
In addition to increasing networking and productivity, socialising also benefits physical health.
1. You may lower your risk of dementia
Fun facts, staying socially active can reduce the risk of dementia. A study published in the National Library of Medicine found that people who connect with others perform better on memory and cognitive skills tests.
2. Your mental health will be better
Listening to funny stories, joking, or sharing experiences is one good stress release. Your mood will sweeten if you start talking to other people and building connections.
3. Live longer
Because they have much social support, feelings of happiness will unknowingly improve health. Improved health is one sign of the possibility of living longer.
How to properly socialise
Several effective solutions can help you stay less busy and begin a small talk with others at work:
1. First thing first, set the boundaries
Setting boundaries is about what is OK and not OK in starting interactions. Boundaries will be the separator between work and personal life. You can set your specific boundaries. Some examples of boundaries at work:
- No romantic relationships with coworkers, bosses, or clients
- Not sharing personal information that damages the reputation
- Avoid gossiping and talking bad about the company
2. Keep the door open
When in the office, keep the door open unless you're in a meeting or on a phone call. An open door means saying hello to people. This way, your coworkers will be more satisfied dropping in to talk or just saying hi.
3. Have a conversation with coworkers
There is nothing wrong with making friendships at work. Friendship will make the vibes more solid and fun. Try starting with:
- Take a break and have lunch together. Consider having lunch in the kitchen or a cafe near the office. Choose a cosy place so that many people come to stop by.
- It's essential to have a little conversation-not about work. You can start with something trending or ask what their breakfast menu is. Simple, but it works.
4. Don't be extra-curious
Stay on the line, don't be too curious unless you're already a “best friend”. Avoid topics that are too sensitive and controversial. Watch the other person's response to see if they are offended. When they are defensive, shift to another topic. Some issues that are too sensitive:
- Romance Relationship
5. Stay connected online
Stay connected even if you are far away through communication tools. Forums or channels can be a great way to communicate for those who implement the WFA (Work From Anywhere) system.
Nowadays there are many platforms to support communication. You can use those tools to stay in real-time communication with your coworkers. By implementing effective communication, you will have time to socialise besides working.
Socialising is a worthwhile skill. Regardless of how you go bonding with others, remember that it has to be fun for you. I understand that some people find it hard to socialise. But eventually, we all need a friend. A friend to talk to, to share something with, and to have fun with.
Many good benefits come from socialising. Thus, trying to socialise more for the sake of your health and work productivity is something good you can do for yourself. Try those simple steps and see the results!