On average, an employee may spend up to 9 hours daily at the workplace. This means that up to 40 to 45 hours of their time is spent weekly in the same environment with the same group of people.

Colleague, co-worker, team member, whatever name a person chooses to call them, these guys are basically an important part of an individual’s life in the office environment. We work alongside them and with them, exchange ideas, talk to, and even sometimes, sit in the same office with them.

It is therefore important to get along with these colleagues, as they make up an important part of a person’s career.

  • Respect Boundaries

Every relationship excels when the parties involved understand and observe each other’s boundaries. This is also true of the relationship with your co-workers.

Make sure you understand the limits laid down by this person. For instance, do they have an “always ask before picking stuff off my desk” policy? Respect that because people will only appreciate you when you respect their boundaries.

What is more? By respecting your colleagues’ boundaries, they’ll be more willing to respect yours.

  • Maintain Good Communication With Them 

Communication is another important aspect of every relationship without the exception of an office one. To better understand the needs of your colleague, it is necessary that communication be effective between you two.

Listening attentively to their opinions, beliefs, world view, as well as other relevant information, puts you at an advantage to better understand why they act the way they do. For instance, would your colleague rather not discuss religion or politics? Respect that.

And have they mentioned certain food allergies or medical situations which could be triggered by external factors? Avoid things which could trigger their medical condition.

On the flip side, it is important for you to also communicate your thoughts or emotions clearly to them. Appreciate their help? Let them know. Not satisfied with the way they handled a situation? Speak up. However, remember to always remain respectful and positive when communicating your thoughts.

  • Leave Them Pleasant Surprises

Do unexpected good and nice things for your colleagues. No one could resist that. Aware of when they’re celebrating a special day? Leave them a surprise gift.  

Also, simple things like sending them appreciation notes and thank you messages might seem like small gestures but they go a long way in buttressing your relationship with a coworker.

  • Be Willing To Help

There’s no such thing as helping too much. As much as you can, always be willing to help your colleagues. Remember that a good relationship depends on the value each party brings to the table.

Do not be that colleague who’s always asking for favours. Instead, be the “help plug” to others. Of course, it’s not bad to say “no” when you cannot afford to help out sometimes. The most important thing is that you politely and respectfully decline to help.

Helping out isn’t only limited to material things. Giving advice when asked, bouncing professional ideas off each other, is another way to be helpful to your co-worker.

  • Do Not Speak Ill Of Them

Never speak ill of your colleagues especially behind their backs or even in front of them. This isn’t only morally wrong, but might be going against workplace rules. 

It’s always wise to address a discord with a co-worker according to the standards put in place by the organization you work for.

Have a problem with a colleague, confront them and let them know respectfully. Not only does speaking ill of people make you look bitter, but it also could ruin your reputation.



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