I work as a sole developer and data analyst for an outsourcing company with ~1500 employees, I used to work in one of their centers with 200 other employees and recently moved to a small executive office in a different city. I managed to find several people at the call center that shared similar interests as me, and have made several friends I still talk to and/or collaborate with. This is especially important to me because I'm very introverted, and the only places I tend to make friends are in the workplace.
There are ~10 people in the executive office, the majority of them in a completely different place in life than me. There is little to no social interaction, or shared interests here, and it's depressing.
There is a call center nearby that has ~150 employees, who nearly all live in the same city as me. They have a very active and friendly site-wide slack channel, so I reached out to the site director for an invite into the room. After explaining that I'm not there to play company politics, and just want to foster relationships outside of my official work capacity she wholeheartedly agreed to invite me.
My boss saw the IM window from the site director and asked if she was reaching out for help, or if she was having issues. I explained that I was asking for an invite to the slack room, so that I had somewhere to foster relationships and network. She suddenly became serious and said the following phrases "
This is not something I like to see at work", "
We have full-time jobs to do", "
We have different opinions on this". She was unhappy that I was going to interact with other at the company outside of my official role, though she did not forbid it. After I mentioned how this is actively encouraged within many part of the company and culture she said "while this may be encouraged for colleagues, it is not for us".
I feel like this is unjust, I have no interactions in my current office, I have no local friends, and have no one to share similar interests with. Making friends in the workplace so I can meet up with them after work has been my own saving grace. I feel that I am expected to be nose-to-the-grindstone and not interact with others except when officially needed. It's giving me a lot of anxiety because even though I'm an introvert, I still feel a need to interact and foster relationships with other people.
How can I approach her about this? Is it fine to do it anyways, even though she hinted that I should not? Are her thoughts on this reasonable?