Obviously, it’s great to work with people who are responsible, organised, and who complete their work on time – but all of that’s generally expected in an office environment. You’re not paid to turn up to your workplace every day just to check your email and watch YouTube videos, after all. The very best co-workers aren’t just diligent; they’re pleasant, polite, and generally willing to do their part to make office life a little easier for everyone. Take up some of the following tips and you’ll be a beloved colleague in no time:
Don’t Forget To Restock
Are you the sort of person who uses up the last teabag without bothering to refill the jar, or takes the last few paperclips without bothering to let the person in charge of office supplies know they’re out? Congratulations: you get zero points for thoughtfulness. Of course, it’s easy to forget to do these things if you’re in a hurry, but there’s no excuse for a perennial lack of consideration. Different offices have different ways of doing things – you may have to let the relevant person know that there’s no milk left in the kitchen, or it may just be a matter of you having to get a new box of staples from the designated cupboard. Either way, don’t just wander off and leave it to be dealt with by the next person who comes along. And if you are the unfortunate next person who comes along, don’t ever take out your frustrations by stealing your colleagues’ food or drink. That’s just the ultimate Good Co-Worker No-No.
It’s All About Communication
Polished communication skills are a must-have no matter what your job. Whether you’re regularly liaising with one person or one hundred, your communication skills are demonstrated and tested on a regular basis. So even through small things like emails and memos, it’s worth establishing yourself as a person who’s always open and engaging. Where appropriate, prefacing an email with a friendly greeting (and being polite throughout) can make a world of difference over a message more like, “Hi. Can you come by my office at 5? Thanks.” If you’re someone with whom people are always happy to chat, you’re doing it right.
Okay, okay, you may not necessarily feel up to an animated chat at 9am on a Monday morning. That’s fair enough. But you should always make the effort to at least greet your co-workers and make some small talk in the mornings, rather than sullenly slinking to your seat in silence. Equally, it may be tempting to sit at your desk and check Facebook over lunch, but why not use the opportunity to chat with your colleagues instead? You shouldn’t feel pressured to attend every single work social either, but it’s always worth attending the ones you can make. You spend most of your time with the people you work with – why not get to know them a little better away from the office?
Keep Communal Areas Tidy
If your office space has a designated break room, lunch room, or kitchen, you don’t want to be the one who’s always leaving a mess behind. It’s not that difficult to chuck food wrappers in the bin, or to mop up spilled tea. It’s even worse to have to deal with people who never do their own washing up, and are content to leave a mound of dirty dishes in the sink. Either take a sponge to it yourself or stick it in the dishwasher – don’t leave it for your co-workers or the office cleaners to do it for you.
The Little Things
Your priority at work should always be, well, your work. You should always channel your energy and motivation into your assignments, and focus on being the best you can be within that sphere. Having said that, sometimes it’s worth making a little extra effort for your co-workers as well – for example, if you go away on holiday, why not bring back some tasty treats for the office kitchen? If you’re moving house and need to give stuff away, why not spread the word round your office? If you’ve got a spare ticket to a concert, why not ask one of your co-workers if they want it? If there’s a nice restaurant or pub by your office, why not invite some of your colleagues to check it out with you after work? Going the extra mile in your assigned work is all very well and good, but fostering good relationships with your co-workers can be even more rewarding.
Just adopt the following habits and you’ll be on your way to Employee of the Month in no time. Assuming you’re also doing a stellar job with your assigned work, of course…