How to be a Good Coworker

By: Lauren Mineau

Many of us spend more time with our co-workers than with family or friends in an average week. Building relationships with people you see daily, but not by choice, can be tricky but not impossible.

There are many benefits to enjoying the company of those you work with. Aside from creating possibly meaningful friendships, good work relationships make you a better employee. You’re much more likely to be happier at work, more engaged and more productive overall. We’ll show you how to be a good office mate.

Be Approachable

Some days, we all have to eat lunch at our desks or not leave our office to get work done. But making that a regular habit might make others think you don’t want to be approached or be interactive. Your actions speak loudly sometimes, be aware of the message you might be giving off.

Be Considerate

This tip can span many avenues. Being mindful of others when planning meetings, big projects, or promises to clients is crucial. You never want to be the person who makes someone log in on a day off because you promised a customer they’d have something at a certain time. It can be hard to balance many people’s schedules, but being cognizant of others goes a long way.

But workplace habits can also fall under this umbrella. You may love tuna salad with onions. Your desk neighbor may be very sensitive to smells. You may love to work with a heavy metal soundtrack playing, while your coworker may prefer silence. Finding a common ground can make work that much more tolerable.

Ask About More Than Work

In asking a colleague “How was your weekend?” you’re inquiring about them as a human being, not just as a coworker. By showing interest in who they are in “real life,” you may create a stronger and more trusting bond in the workplace. By finding out more about someone’s life, you may find common ground or open yourself up to learn about things from a perspective different than yours.

Ask Their Opinion

You may feel like you have a solid proposal and you likely do have a good one. But sometimes, a second opinion can shed light on something you may have missed or something you could add. People love to share their opinions too, so it never hurts to ask. Always follow up with sincere thanks, even if you don’t use their advice.

Return Correspondence Quickly

It’s always frustrating when you’re waiting for someone to get back to you before you can move forward on a project. Always try to return messages in a timely manner. People always appreciate it and you’ll be known as someone reliable and approachable.

Build Others Up

Give credit when credit is due. Compliments and appreciation go a long way, not only for those you praise but those who hear you giving praise. Recognize when someone goes above and beyond. Many times, we don’t do this for ourselves. So, having people on your team can make you want to work harder and smarter.