How to Get Along With Your Coworkers
7 ways to improve your workplace relationships
Since you probably spend more time with your coworkers than with anyone else, it is essential to have, at least, a decent relationship with them. Hopefully, it will be even better than that. Harmonious workplace relationships can make going to work a pleasure. Follow these tips to learn how to get along with your coworkers.
You don't have to be friends with all your colleagues, but you must demonstrate respect for one another. The primary way to do this is to avoid doing offensive things. For example, clean up after yourself, don't take anyone else's food from the refrigerator, call out sick when necessary to keep from spreading your illness, and don't steal credit for someone else's work. If a coworker tells you that a particular behavior annoys him or her, try your best to avoid it unless the request is unreasonable.
Sometimes colleagues become friends, at least while at work. It's great if you are entirely at ease with them, but be wary of feeling so comfortable that you don't think any subjects should be off limits. Some topics can cause awkwardness, and therefore you should avoid them.
Some controversial subject matters, for example, politics and religion, could even incite arguments that might lead to discord in the workplace. Others, like your sex life, may cause embarrassment. Wait until you're with your friends and family to discuss them.
Starting a new job is stressful. In addition to worrying about impressing your boss, you will also be concerned about establishing rapport with your coworkers. Will you get along with them as well as you did with your former colleagues, or better if your relationships weren't as good as they could be?
Building strong bonds takes time, but it begins on your very first day at a new job. Get things off to a good start by being friendly to everyone you meet. If you find it difficult to make small talk, remember that a warm smile goes a long way. Ask questions and graciously accept help and advice when others offer it. If you get invited to join others for lunch, go.
The saying "you can choose your friends, but you can't choose your family" should be expanded to include coworkers. You can't choose them either. A few—hopefully not too many—may be difficult (just like some of your relatives).
Practice Good Office Etiquette
Good manners are needed on the job as much as they are anywhere. Remember this whenever you are around your coworkers and always be polite to them.
When making phone calls, either personal ones on your cell phone or job-related calls in your cubicle, don't distract anyone who is trying to work. Keep your voice down and have personal conversations in private.
Also, use proper etiquette when emailing your colleagues. Always say "please" when making a request and don't drive your coworkers crazy by hitting "reply all" to a group email when only the sender needs to see your response.
Be mindful of proper table manners when eating lunch with your coworkers. For example, don't tend to matters of personal hygiene at the table (put the dental floss away), keep your cell phone in your purse or pocket, and don't be rude to waitstaff.
You should be helpful to your coworkers all the time, but also perform random acts of kindness that catch them off guard. For example, bring a colleague coffee and a cookie on a dreary afternoon or offer to stay late to help him or her complete a big project with a looming deadline.
Don't Spread Malicious Gossip
Spreading gossip at work will get you into trouble whether the information you share is accurate or a rumor. Although it may be tempting to share juicy details, resist the urge to talk about your coworkers. Doing so will result in your appearing to be untrustworthy and leave everyone worried they could be your next subject.