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Maybe this is common at most workplaces, but I find working hours to be so much longer and less fun because most of the communication between my boss and us are just about work. I have been in the team for almost 2 years. We never had any team lunch or team events. Even worse, for the past 2 X'mas parties, my boss never showed up and I was the only person in my team who attended.

As a new employee I really had difficulties meeting others at the firm because my boss did not introduce me to them. Throughout all the time, I do get the feeling that my boss would prefer the way as is instead of making the environment more fun.

I am really thinking about leaving the firm now because I think the atmosphere is getting depressing and this just generate negative energy. What are your thoughts?

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I do not think that it is a boss' responsibility to make the work environment fun. It is more like removing all those road blocks so you can work productively.

Obviously, socializing is part of a productive work environment, to varying degrees depending on one's personality.

Extraverted people load their batteries when interacting with others, while introverts gain energy from alone time or thinking time. Personally, I love having my own office and not having to connect with others except for work issues, but might have my one or two people even at work I might build a deeper relationship with.

If the environment does not fit you, change it either by investing yourself or going somewhere else.

As others have said, it is your own responsibility to connect.

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    If a an employee leaves, because their boss failed to facilitate integrating them to the workplace community, then it is fault of that boss, it's their responsibility that the employee didn't like the atmosphere. Now it might be good thing too, if the employee just wasn't a good fit for the workplace socially, but if it means losing someone who is doing a good job, just because the boss didn't bother to do some introductions, well... bad boss! – hyde Jun 15 '16 at 8:54
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Keep in mind that people differ. Some people find functions (with loud music and free booze) so much fuuuun. Some people are the opposite and are stimulated by (perhaps 1-to-1) intelligent conversation - they would hate going to the aforementioned FUN work function or team building event (they would return from it stressed-out, they would not be able to meet people or converse with any).

(I'm speaking from experience, me being the latter and my last workplace (or at least their social committee responsible for functions, which included the CEO's wife) being the former. I did not attend many functions, and did not work there very long.)

So one suggestion would be to engage with your boss on his level. Perhaps over a coffee break, a cigarette in the smoking area, or at the water cooler at work? The same, of course, counts for those other colleagues that you feel you need to know.

If that does not deliver sufficient results to your liking, after serveral attempts, perhaps you are not well-matched to your workplace.

Update: it may be well worth your while to do some assessment to get more clarity on what makes you tick as a person and what you think about yourself. I've found this free Meyers-Briggs-based site useful in the past without buying the premium content.

  • 1
    M-B (preferably the full version) is the only personality classification test I've seen that produces consistently credible results.. – keshlam Jun 14 '16 at 13:25
  • The reference to smoking is on purpose, even though I don't smoke and personally am strongly opposed to the habit. My experience is that the people that DO go to the smoking area and share the smoke break, quickly form strong social connections, which remain back in the office. Much stronger than coffee (subjective). Whether you want to risk some second hand smoke is of course completely up to you, there are other options. – fr13d Jun 15 '16 at 21:49
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I can contribute to this as the kind of person who is quite shy and has difficulty easily getting to know people.

It is unrealistic to expect your boss to introduce you to everyone in the company. It definitely took me a while, certainly a couple of months, to feel comfortable enough with everyone in my department (15 people or so) and a couple of years to meet and know everyone in the company (about 60-70 people) on a friendly basis.

So, even though this may take time, it is perfectly normal to have to fend for yourself socially in this kind of setting.

There is nothing stopping you from organising social activities with people in your organisation if you'd like to. I went out for coffee with my main team-mate a couple of times a month, and that turned into a regular outing with our department. Our boss didn't come every time, and he wasn't expected to.

If you are feeling like the atmosphere in your workplace is a difficult one, then it would definitaly be a good idea to consider why. If it's just a social thing, then start by creating an activity with one or two teammates. It's possible there are other issues too. Is it stressful? Are you not being supported in your work? Perhaps there are other reasons why the atmosphere is like this. It's not usually due a lack of social activities (many companies function without them), although that's possible.

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    Thanks everyone for all the answers, after reading all these I agree totally a manager's responsibility not to being engaged in social events and whatnot. And maybe the question was a little misleading, I meant that it was difficult at the beginning to meet people. But after that stage, I didn't expect anything and I was proactive to meet people in other teams. But Stacey has a good point! I think there are other issues too, and not being engaged in social events does play a role personally. I have realized that often on and off certain tasks will get pushed back by other teams to my boss. – livedonkey Jun 14 '16 at 12:57
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    And my boss would just take those tasks and give them to the team, which I don't think it's okay because we are already very short staff. Our team always ends up doing something every other team does not what to do. And we have raised this to the boss and he did nothing. From a functionality standpoint, we all disagree that the task should sit with us. I think this is one of the reasons as well. – livedonkey Jun 14 '16 at 13:01
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    @livedonkey: that is a very different question, and one that may already be adequately addressed by past Answers . If not, write a new Question. – keshlam Jun 14 '16 at 14:11
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Your boss is not interested in socialising with staff. If you want those sorts of activities then you should start a social club or something similar. I don't see this as a reason to quit: realistically you are there to work, not socialise.

Many people would be happier working this way, myself included. As a boss, I barely attend any of the functions although I pay for them. I don't drink these days, but when I did, I would never get drunk with staff members; it changes relationships and I could possibly make a fool of myself (seen plenty of bosses and managers do so) and lose respect. So I'd either leave them to it, or make a brief appearance at the start then quietly leave.

My advice if you feel strongly enough about it is to get some like minded people together and start a social club and organise your own events, finance them through the club, or even get sponsors if you want to. I have seen people do this successfully and have a growing group of people interested.

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    +1. I do not participate in any of the social events either (though I am not a boss). I am here to work and write code: the social events make me uncomfortable. – Dan Pantry Jun 14 '16 at 8:03
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    @Kilisi why are Xmas & Easter "obligatory"? I can almost understand Xmas (although I would never consider an after-hours social event "mandatory" in the first place), but Easter is a much more religious observance and unless the company is based upon a religion that observes it, I think making that "obligatory" would be very uncomfortable for many of the employees. – alroc Jun 14 '16 at 11:14
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    I've never even heard of any office-related even for Easter. Nowadays a party in December is fairly common and often called a "holiday party". Some places I've worked hand out bonuses and awards and things at that party. – Todd Wilcox Jun 14 '16 at 12:48
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    @Kilisi is it a faith-based company though? How does making Easter observations at the office obligatory impact those of other faiths? – alroc Jun 14 '16 at 13:55
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    @alroc Cultures vary from one place to another. An office celebration for Easter would be unusual in the U.S. (and probably also Europe, though I can't speak from experience there,) but would be quite normal in many places, especially heavily-Catholic ones such as former Spanish colonies. – reirab Jun 14 '16 at 16:42
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After 2 years, you should have introduced yourself to plenty of people. You can't blame your boss for the fact that you haven't, or demand that he be any more social than you apparently are.

The problem here is you, not the boss.

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    It's pretty bold to say OP is the problem, based on what is written in the question! For example, sometimes social interaction happens very much inside the teams, and if it doesn't happen in your team, you just can't replace it with the social circle of another team (except by getting transferred to that team). It may really be the other people, who are a bit too comfortable with their own situation and don't want to inconvenience themselves with a new "outsider" (and I don't mean any kind of malice here). – hyde Jun 15 '16 at 8:51
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    @hyde OP seems to think a workplace is a social event, that everyone should be socializing, and that their boss exists in part to facilitate socialization. OP's idea of the workplace is absurdly wrong. That's why the OP is the problem. – SnakeDoc Jun 15 '16 at 18:37
  • @SnakeDoc Workplace is a a kind of a social event. Just because some people don't care for it doesn't meän it isn't very important for others. And the job of a boss is (among other things) to facilitate good work environment for all their subordinates. Even if the boss themselves doesn't want to participate does not change the need to facilitate it. They control the money for that, after all. – hyde Jun 15 '16 at 19:31
  • I think the point is correct. I also think the tone of some direct answers can seem hard to some. It could have said 'the possibility exists that perhaps the OP might need to adjust their approach to blah blah blah'. However that can tone down and diminsh the post. In this forum at least sometimes the answer is short and sweet even if seeming a little hard in social terms. – Michael Durrant Oct 10 at 17:34
  • Perhaps "It's very direct to say OP is the problem". And you might diagree with the premise althogoether and you are free to vote, comment, etc. as you see fit – Michael Durrant Oct 10 at 17:36

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