In the Job

How to get on with your colleagues at work

Making friends at work is important. These 7 easy-to-follow rules will help you be an office favourite in no time.

In our lifetimes we spend an awful lot of time in the workplace (more than at home for many), and the whole thing is a lot easier and more enjoyable when we make a good effort to get on with our colleagues. Not only can good relations make going to work seem less like a chore, but they’re essential for creating a positive impression with your boss and getting your projects ticked off with the least amount of fuss possible.

Most graduates will not have been in a professional job role and there’s a few simple rules to get the best possible working relationships with your colleagues!

7 Easy ways to get on with your workmates

Avoid gossip

water cooler gossipBe careful when hovering around the water cooler as gossip is one of the biggest dangers to making friends and being productive in the workplace. It happens almost everywhere, but we’d strongly advise that you just don’t get involved!

If you’re in a conversation and it turns to what one of your workmates has been up to, make a conscious effort to change the subject. With a bit of practice, no one will even realise that you tried to avoid the gossiping!

Be careful with social networks

facebook hate my jobOne of the most common questions when it comes to office etiquette is whether or not you should add your colleagues on social networks. There isn’t really a right or wrong answer here, but you should approach social networking with care in this respect.

If you do want to add your colleagues as friends, that’s usually fine, but be aware of what you have on your profiles. Pictures of you rolling out of nightclubs isn’t likely to create the best impression. Similarly, avoid mentioning work in a negative sense. That status you had on Friday night about how pleased you were to get away from your terrible boss for a few days might just come back to haunt you!

Consider reviewing your privacy settings so you know just how much of your profile everyone can see. If necessary, you could even set up different lists for friends and colleagues.

Be mindful in meetings

Meetings are where you’ll usually make the biggest impression on your workmates. Of course, you have a job to do and you want to get everything done as productively as possible. Before you rush into meetings with your own agenda though, consider everyone else. There’s nothing worse than someone who dominates the conversation and refuses to let others have their say!

If a colleague seems to be struggling to contribute, draw them into the conversation and ask for their views. If someone is particularly dominant, try to balance it out by bringing the rest of the group into the discussion.

Be a pleasure to work with!

happy employeeGood colleagues don’t take the credit for the work of others. They pull their weight, help others when they can, and make the office a better place to be in. If you remember these basic rules, you’ll find that the quality of your work is better, and you become a joy to have around!

If you’re ambitious and are keen to progress, it’s these qualities that will get you noticed for all the right reasons.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should be a pushover. Don’t be scared to speak up when you think that something’s wrong, but pick your battles carefully and keep the bigger picture in mind.

Socialise, but remember that it’s work

If after work drinks on a Friday night are part of company culture, get involved. It’s just a few hours out of your weekend, and some of the best working relationships can be made in the pub! Don’t get carried away though, and watch how much you’re drinking. You don’t want to become known as the one who always disgraces themselves!

Your workmates don’t necessarily have to be your best pals, but it’s best for everyone if you can form positive relationships. Following these tips, you should find that the whole thing becomes a lot less painless!

Don’t be a “bosses pet”

Nobody likes someone that tries to be the office police officer.  If someone you work with has made a mistake then talk to them about it personally rather than bringing it up in a meeting or with your boss.

Obviously if you feel that someone has overstepped the line with bullying, racism or anything similar then use your common sense to judge when it may have gone beyond a joke.

Stay happy

Turn up to work with a smile on your face and always try to stay calm. If you are sat in the corner and getting stressed every single hour then your workmates will label you as someone not to approach.

How do you make sure that you get on with your colleagues? What tips would you share with other graduates who are trying to get ahead?