10 Things You Should Do to Be an Awesome Co-Worker

August 24, 2017 Abby Oberholtzer

When you spend literally thousands of your waking hours with the same people at work every year, several outcomes can occur.

One: You form strong bonds with your teammates and would consider them some of your closest friends (yay!). Two: You tolerate your colleagues and they tolerate you, however there’s some underlying tension that has yet to be resolved. Or three: You don’t get along with your team members in the least and spend most of your day seeking opportunities elsewhere.

No matter where you fall on this spectrum, there are always things you could be doing to be a better co-worker!

Spread good will and even better vibes around your office by trying out these ten ways to be a better colleague. Once you do your part to make your work environment positive, your team will be sure to follow!

  1. Be friendly. Sadly, for many workplaces, this characteristic isn’t commonplace. Instead of slinking into the office and making a beeline for your workspace, greet your colleagues with a pleasant, “Good morning.” No matter how well you know the person, say “hello” to those you pass in the halls. If you know their name, be sure to use it. These simple relationship-building moments can drastically improve the overall mood in your workplace.
  2. Don’t be annoying. Working in close proximity to your team tends to expose everyone’s idiosyncrasies. The loud-chewers, the gum-smackers and the pen-clickers have no place to hide in a workplace. Be mindful of how your actions and habits at work affect those around you.
  3. Don’t be dramatic. Gossip and drama are two common issues that plague nearly every workplace. Even if you don’t think you’re contributing to the problem, pay close attention to the way you communicate with your colleagues. Are your emails ever passive aggressive? Do you find yourself whispering to your cubicle neighbor about another employee? Keep a lookout for these behaviors in your day-to-day life and nip them in the bud whenever possible!
  4. Recognize greatness. Don’t be shy when it comes to recognizing your amazing team. If you’re impressed with someone’s turnaround time on a project, make your thoughts known. Send them e-praise or an encouraging email. Even better, tell their boss how impressed you are with their mad skills!
  5. Be helpful. When your fellow worker heads out of the office to take advantage of their PTO or is taking an extended leave of absence, lighten their workload by picking up some of their duties until they return. Do your best to handle situations as they arise, so you don’t have to bother them with an email while they’re OOO.
  6. Be responsive. It’s downright frustrating when your project’s progress comes to screeching halt due to an unresponsive team member. When you play a part in an initiative, promptly respond to emails and attend corresponding meetings. If you’re swamped, communicate that with your team and provide an estimated timeline of when you’ll be caught up and ready to contribute again.
  7. Say thank you. Bringing a grateful attitude to work every day will improve your overall mood and supercharge your team! Appreciate the hard work and dedication of your team by simply stating your words of thanks.
  8. Celebrate often. Don’t let a birthday, work anniversary, engagement or other big life event pass you by. Note your employees’ milestones on your calendar and be sure to celebrate each and every one of them.
  9. Be positive. Discouraging seasons at work are a reality. If you’re in a valley, become a pro at finding the silver linings in your day. This will help you avoid becoming the miserable storm cloud of your office.
  10. Communicate clearly. Your colleagues aren’t clairvoyant. Avoid corporate buzz words when providing direction in emails and be as clear as possible when communicating in meetings. Be open to follow-up questions and answer them with care.

Implement these ten tips into your day and watch your work relationships grow and deepen! What are some ways you like to be an awesome coworker? Share them in the comments below!

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