September 13, 2013, 3:28 PM — Want to get ahead? Remove your nose from the grindstone and go get a coffee with a colleague. Meet a client for lunch. Grab a round of golf with your boss. Get out of your office and away from your computer.
Businessweek's Howard Pines admits that, yes, those activities may not look productive on the surface, but they're actually incredibly beneficial and will help you in your career.
"Relationships require trust…and your willingness to 'waste time' with them shows your support. If this leads to trust, they will be more open to your ideas. In addition, face-to-face contact allows you to uncover opportunities and concerns you may otherwise have missed," he notes.
Getting out of the office with colleagues or clients provides a much-needed new environment. Sometimes even a simple change of scenery can be conducive to problem-solving or hashing out issues that have long been eluding resolution.
"Working" in social situations also helps you hone your soft-skills, traits that are more prized now than ever by corporations. Two candidates can have similar education and work history, but if one is known to excel at interpersonal communication, problem-solving and conflict resolution, who do you think will get the job?