Forging good work relationships with colleagues is essential in the 21st-century workplace where we spend most of our day with our coworkers on working days. Getting to know your colleagues is important for creating a conducive and supportive workplace where everyone working there can thrive. It is your coworkers who will help you when you are stuck in a work-related problem. Furthermore, it is your coworkers who will cheer you up when your spirit is down. As such, it is crucial to try to build positive relationships with your colleagues. Get To Know Your Coworkers Questions.
Objectives Of Questions To Get To Know Your Coworkers
Questions are an excellent medium to get to know your coworkers better and make them feel more at ease around you. Ice-breaker questions are also the first step in forging friendly and positive relationships with your coworkers. This is especially important if you are in a position of leadership, and you are in charge of managing a group of coworkers. Some of the benefits of knowing your colleagues better are listed below.
- You will get to know about your coworkers’ career ambitions.
- You might be able to learn new and useful information from your colleagues if you get to know them well.
- Your coworkers will get to know you better and be able to work with you better.
- You can find out the strengths and weaknesses of your colleagues.
- It will help you to seem more approachable to your colleagues.
- It will help to build a stronger team which would help in obtaining better outputs for the company.
- It will help to build a friendly work environment in which you and your coworkers can work happily. This would also increase the confidence levels of your coworkers and enable them to express their ideas and thoughts more freely, which would lead to greater progress for the company.
- These questions will make your coworkers use their creativity which will boost creativity in the office.
Ice-breaker Questions To Ask Your Coworkers
Some examples of ice-breaker questions you can ask your coworkers are listed below.
- What is your favorite hobby?
This question will allow you to find out about your coworker’s personality and hidden skills. Moreover, this is a great topic to bond on if you and your coworker have similar hobbies.
- Can you name a world leader you are inspired by?
The answer to this question will give you an insight into the type of leadership your coworker believes in and practices in the workplace.
- Have you met a celebrity before? If you have, who is the celebrity?
Asking this question is a sneaky way of finding out what type of celebrities, TV shows, and movies your coworkers like. This is another topic to bond on if you and your coworkers like the same genre of shows, which can be a precursor to future get-together sessions after work to binge-watch TV shows and movies.
- What was your first occupation?
This question is a fun one to ask as it can generate some intriguing answers from your colleagues. On top of that, the answers your coworkers give to this question will also give you an insight into how your coworker was like when he or she was younger and how he or she has changed over the years.
- What is your favorite holiday and why is it your favorite?
The answer to this question will allow you to know about your coworkers’ religious beliefs as well as the value that holiday holds for them.
- What is your happiest childhood memory?
This question allows you to find out what your coworker’s childhood was like and possibly fond memories of his or her family members and childhood friends.
- Do you have any phobia?
Sharing each other’s phobias will allow you and your coworker to bond as fear is something all humans can relate to.
- Who is your most favorite family member and why is he or she is your most favorite?
This question allows your coworker to share things about his family and the moral values or qualities he or she admires.
- What is one thing you have always wanted to try doing but haven’t managed to do yet?
This question probes your colleagues to share their goals or desires and provided more insight into their lifestyle
- Which beverage do you prefer? Coffee or Tea?
This is a simple yet effective question to bond over as most people end up picking one of the beverages over the other.
- What is your favorite emoji?
This is a great question to ask as almost everyone is familiar with emojis nowadays. You will get to know the surprisingly funny or sarcastic side of your coworkers.
- If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
This question reveals your colleagues’ creative side to you. It is also a fun experience to share your childhood wishes to possess the superpowers of certain superheroes.
- What is your favorite meal?
Food is a great topic of conversation anywhere in the world and it is an easy subject to bond over and expand the conversation.
- What type of books do you like to read?
This is a great question to find out your coworkers’ interests. If there are enough book enthusiasts in the office, you can set up a book club where you and your coworkers can interact over books.
- What is your favorite plant and why is it your favorite?
The responses to this question can widely vary and it is certainly interesting to find out the favorite plants of your coworkers and the reasons why it is their favorite.
- What is your favorite application on your smartphone?
Since most people use smartphones nowadays, it is a question which most people can relate to. Through this question, you will be able to get a glimpse of your coworkers’ personalities as well as their likes.
- What is one thing you like about your hometown?
This question encourages your coworkers to share about their hometown which will create a warm and friendly atmosphere in the office.
- What is one world problem you would like to solve and why is that problem important to you?
This question lets you find out which issues are close to your coworkers’ hearts beyond the scope of their work at the workplace.
Questions To Ask Coworkers During Online Meetings
Nowadays, many office meetings are conducted online, and employees tend to work from home if possible. Several questions are relevant to working from home which you can ask your coworkers in an online meeting. Some examples of such questions are listed below.
- Which part of your house are you attending this meeting from?
This is a fun question to ask which would reveal information about the type of house your coworkers live in.
- What does your workspace at home look like?
This question would allow you to find out what type of workspace and work environment your coworkers prefer.
- What is your meal plan for today?
This is an interesting question to ask your colleagues as you can observe whether their eating habits are different when they work from the office and when they work from their homes.
- What methods do you use to stay away from distractions while you are working from home?
This question allows you and your colleagues to share your experiences and your coping mechanisms on an issue that all of you are facing. This helps to increase empathy among you and your coworkers.
- What is your favorite exercise to do at home?
This question will help you know about the type of exercises your coworkers are doing, which you can incorporate into your life.
- Which method of destressing do you find is the most effective for you at home?
This question opens the doors to some interesting conversations about how they relieve their stress at home. The methods shared can range from funny to creative and it is a great way to get to know a coworker better.
- What is the one thing you enjoy most about working from home?
This question will evoke some positive responses from your coworkers which will help to make the online meeting more friendly and increase productivity.
- Which online website are you currently using the most?
This question will generate some interesting responses and they will give you a better understanding of your coworkers’ web browsing habits.
- What is one thing you miss about the office the most?
The answers to this question may range from nostalgic to insightful. This question is useful for you and your coworkers to reflect on your office days.
- What is one thing you have changed in your work style while you are working at home that you want to continue to implement if you resume working at the office?
This question is an excellent opportunity to find out what changes in the workplace your coworkers would like to see going forward to increase their productivity. This is useful if you are a boss or a manager.
Team building Questions You Should Ask Your Coworkers
Team building questions are important to ask so that you can find out more about your coworkers’ personalities, working styles, strengths, and weaknesses so that you would be able to come up with effective ways to foster understanding between you and the coworkers in your team and be able to work together well as a team.
- Which moral values are important to you?
This helps you to know about the cultures of your coworkers and which virtues they value the most. This helps you understand your coworkers better.
- What is the personality trait that annoys you the most?
The answer to this question will let you know which coworkers to group for group projects. Additionally, this question also brings up the conversation about the likes and dislikes of coworkers which would help them to be more mindful of each other’s needs.
- Why did you choose to pursue this career?
This question will reveal the motivations of your coworkers and the ambitions they have for their professional careers. This information is useful for delegation of work to different coworkers and team collaboration.
- Do you have any hidden talent? If yes, what is it?
This question helps you to find out more about your colleagues beyond the scope of the office. The hidden talents your coworkers share might range from funny to surprising. Furthermore, knowing about the talents that your coworkers possess will be useful while distributing tasks in group projects as you can assign tasks according to their strengths.
- Do you like traveling? If yes, what do you like about traveling the most?
This question will help you identify which of your coworkers are travel enthusiasts and which of your coworkers prefer not to travel. This information will help you in assigning work that requires international travel to your colleagues who enjoy traveling.
Professional Questions Regarding Work
These are some questions to ask your coworkers if you want to only talk to them about work:
- What is your favorite aspect of your work?
This question allows you to find out which aspect of their work has drawn your coworkers to their careers and what they find meaningful to do.
- Which project or task are you currently working on?
This is a direct question that lets you know what your coworkers are working on currently.
- Which skills you have learned during your education apply to your job?
This question will help you find out which skills are currently relevant in the workplace in that field.
- What new skills have you learned since you have started working in this field?
The answer to this question will let you know what type of courses you might need to learn at the office to upskill yourself.
- What techniques do you use to increase your productivity at work?
This question is a valuable chance for you to learn important tips and techniques on how to do your job better from your coworkers, especially if they have more experience in the work than you.
- What is one thing you have achieved at work that you are most proud of?
This question gives a chance to your coworkers to open up to you about their career journey. Furthermore, this question shows your coworkers that you are interested in knowing about their professional life. As such, they will appreciate your effort and are more likely to be on friendly terms with you.
- If there is one thing you would like to improve in this office, what would it be?
This question is a great way to collect feedback on the areas of improvement required in the office to create a more conducive working environment for all your coworkers.
- What is one aspect of your work that you do not like?
This question will be able to offer valuable insights into the changes needed to be made to help your coworkers improve their satisfaction with their work.
- What is the most challenging problem you have encountered in your work and how did you solve it?
Asking this question will let you glean useful knowledge and techniques to solve your work problems.
Funny Questions You Can Ask Your Coworkers
Examples of questions you can ask your coworkers to evoke some laughs from them and build rapport include:
- What is one of your quirky habits?
- What is your favorite childhood toy and why is it your favorite?
- What is one funny and embarrassing thing that has happened to you?
- What is your favorite childhood cartoon show?
- What is one TV show or movie you don’t really like but watch as a guilty pleasure?
- What is one funny misunderstanding you had with someone and how did you resolve it?
- What is one white lie you had told someone recently?
- What is a fun family tradition you are still following today?
- What is one actual word that sounds funny to you?
- What is one funny movie you have recently watched?
Questions You Should Avoid Asking Your Coworkers
Certain topics may be sensitive to your coworker even if those topics are not sensitive for you. Hence, you should be very mindful about the coworker you are talking to so that you can avoid the development of any ill feelings between you and your colleague. Some general types of questions to avoid asking your coworkers are listed below.
- Questions on commonly sensitive topics such as their age, weight, whether they want to have kids, and whether they are pregnant
- Questions about highly controversial topics such as their political stance
- Questions about their belief systems such as their religion
- Questions regarding finances
- Invasive questions about their personal life and details of their relationships
In a nutshell, you need to try to get to know your coworkers well so that you can create long-lasting friendships and good work relationships with them. You should choose questions to ask your colleagues based on the nature of your work, whether you are working from home and the personalities of your colleagues. These questions will certainly get your foot in the door to befriending them. However, before asking questions, you need to carefully think through to determine if the questions you are asking are appropriate to ask the coworker you intend to talk to. In general, steer clear from controversial and conventionally sensitive topics unless your colleague has expressed that he or she is open to talking about them. Additionally, always try to approach your colleagues with a smile and talk in a positive tone as this will go a long way in creating strong bonds in the workplace.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I get to know a new coworker better?
There are several things you can do to get to know a new colleague better and form a good impression on him or her Firstly, you should approach the new colleague with a friendly smile and introduce yourself to him or her so that he or she immediately feel at ease around you. Then, you should invite the coworker for coffee, drinks, or a meal. During the meeting, you should engage your coworker in a casual conversation and ask ice-breaker questions to get to know him or her better.
If you come across a straightforward coworker who is not interested in small talk and ice breakers, you can interact with him or her by asking them questions about their work instead, which they prefer talking about.
- What are some questions we can ask each other at work to find out how well we know each other?
There are several questions you can ask to test how much your coworkers remember about you. Some examples are:
- What is my favorite color?
- What is my favorite food item?
- What is my pet’s name?
- What is my favorite TV show?
- Am I a morning person or an evening person?
- What is my greatest pet peeve?
- What is one of the characteristics you like about me?
- How do I communicate properly with my coworkers?
There are several techniques you can use to ensure a productive conversation between you and your colleagues such as:
- Show that you value your coworkers’ opinions by giving them your hundred percent attention when they are talking to you.
- Be mindful of your facial expressions, body language, and tone of speech, and ensure that you are polite, respectful, and friendly so that your coworkers will find you more approachable.
- If you are in a job position to give some of your coworkers some advice, do so professionally and kindly without throwing in some of your personal opinions and sounding condescending.
- Build trust with your colleagues by being direct with them and giving them necessary information at the right time. This will prove to them that you are a good team player and that they can count on you.
- Choose a medium of conversation that is convenient to both of you such as face-to-face interaction, zoom calls, emails, WhatsApp texting, or messaging on social media