Working alongside your colleagues builds a bond, but it’s hard to really get to know them when you’re on the clock. Spending time together outside the office can improve your working relationship and allow you to make some really great friends.

If you tend to turn down invitations to lunches out, happy hours and other events hosted by fellow staffers outside the work environment, you’re isolating yourself from the team. Not only are you missing out on a lot of fun, you’re also unable to reap the benefits that come with a certain level of familiarity.

Open the Lines of Communication

Everyone has their own communication style, but some are harder to relate to than others. Interacting with your peers in a social setting can help you understand them better. Having a little background knowledge can explain why people behave the way they do. This will help you to relate to them more effectively at work.

For example, you might assume a colleague is aloof, but after spending more time with them, you’ll realize they’re just a very quiet person. Figuring this out can help open the lines of communication, so the two of you can interact in a more positive manner.

Build Trust

It’s hard to trust someone you don’t know, but this won’t change unless you take the time to form genuine relationships with your peers. When you socialize outside of work, you get to know the kind of person a colleague really is. Hopefully, this will help you realize they’re someone you can count on, but if the opposite occurs, it’s much better to learn the truth as soon as possible.

Boost Productivity

Working with a team of people you truly care about makes you want to do good by them. You don’t want to be the weakest link that lets your friends and colleagues down, so this inspires you to push yourself to achieve your potential. Additionally, a team that really knows one another is better able to find their rhythm than one composed of relative strangers.

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