When you spend all day at work with your coworkers, it might not always seem terribly appealing to hang out with them outside of the office. I’ve been fortunate to always work with people I genuinely like, but I know not everyone is that lucky. I’m not exactly shy about my love of running and racing either. Anyone at work who asks me about my weekend is likely to hear about the latest event I’ve run.
One of the best things that has come out of those conversations is that sometimes my coworkers will tell me that they run too. And young or old, fast or slow, the first thing out of my mouth is “We should run together sometime!” While there was a point long ago in my career when I never would have been so bold, I have now learned the value of running with coworkers.
- It gives you a common ground. It’s easy to just talk about projects at work, but we’re all real people with so much more to offer than that. Running with your coworkers gives you something new to connect over and adds a new dimension to your relationship.
- Unlikely friendships can form. I’ve become close friends with coworkers who I have barely spoken to in the past because we started running together and realized how much we had in common.
- Networking, baby! Networking doesn’t just happen at conferences and meetings— it can happen on the run, too! I’ve connected with coworkers, clients, and peers in my industry over running. Those relationships have directly helped to grow my career.
- It humanizes people. It’s easy to be intimidated by a seemingly stern boss or client, but runners are pretty much always friendly when they’ve got their sneakers on! Seeing your coworkers in a different light can make all the difference in how you treat each other.
Related: The Work/Run Balance
While running with your coworkers or clients might not always make sense, I’d encourage everyone to give it a try if you can. At the very least, make your love of your hobby known! You never know who else might be a runner in your office.