How to Get Along Better With Coworkers

By Kaitlin Hurtado on March 19, 2019

The better half of your day can be spent at work, meaning, you’ll be spending plenty of time with your coworkers. This may be upsetting if you are the type to struggle through forging new relationships and have yet to make any positive significant changes to your relationship with your coworkers. Like any relationship, getting along with your coworkers will take time and effort and you will want your relationship with coworkers to be a pleasant one in order to produce a positive and cohesive work environment.

If you are wondering how to navigate the process of working on the relationship between you and your coworker(s), read on for tips on getting along with coworkers:

people sitting at table

Image via unsplash.com

1. Have a solid foundation of respect

Regardless of how close or distant you are with your coworker, you need to respect one another in order to be productive in the workplace and in your relationships. There are countless ways of being respectful in the workplace, including:

  • Completing your own workload and not slacking. Who wants a coworker that slacks and makes everyone else make up for their lack of productivity and initiative? No one. Make sure you are doing your job, as leaving your duties to other coworkers is disrespectful and unproductive.

  • Recognize personal space, boundaries, and belongings. If each coworker has their own cubicle, you don’t want to needlessly intrude for things that aren’t work-related just to keep them from their own work. Or, if they have their personal belongings like food in a shared space, do not feel free to help yourself.

  • Listening to them when they say no after you display certain behavior or discuss a certain topic. You may think nothing of asking a certain question, but to someone else, it can be seen invasive or on a topic that is traumatic to them. Respect when a coworker asks you not bring something up again, or not to a certain action again.

Treat your coworkers how you would like to be treated, and remember that at the end of the day, you are all at the workplace to complete a job.

2. Don’t partake in toxic behavior¬†

Your efforts in getting along with your coworkers can easily be ruined when you do something to offend your coworkers, even if you believe you are doing little to no harm. “Toxic” behavior can be something as small as letting something offensive slip to spreading around a secret/rumor that you have no right to be spreading. Here are some examples of what you should back from doing in the workplace:

  • Bringing up controversial topics. While you may want to be converse freely with your coworkers, try to steer clear of controversial topics like religion and politics in your daily discussions as they can bring up unwarranted debates and can have some coworkers avoiding each other to conflicting beliefs they did not know about previously.
  • Spreading rumors or secrets. It’s human to want to be well-liked by others, but you should not put other’s in harm’s way as a result. If a coworker tells you something during a venting session, they certainly will not expect you to turn around and say it to someone else. Do not use “good information” for your own social gains. Not only can it make coworkers trust you less, but it can also get you fired if it escalates.
  • Exclude anyone for no reason. Although cliques may come out of a workplace almost naturally, do not take part in purposely excluding a coworker or two for no reason just to fit in with others. Just imagine if you were the one being excluded, you definitely do not want to be the one behind making someone feel that way.

2. Don’t rush a relationship

Relationships do not bloom overnight, and this is especially true with workplace relationships. You are at work to work, and of course, you would want to make being at work more pleasant by getting along with your coworkers. Don’t be disappointed when you aren’t invited to join a coworker every time lunch rolls around, or if a coworker says no to an invitation to dinner after work.

Start out slow – be friendly to the coworkers you interact with and even if you do not have time to have a full-blown conversation in passing, acknowledge them with a greeting or smile. If you are heading out to lunch at the same time, try taking initiative and asking them to join you for lunch. If they say no, respectfully carry on your own way without bugging them to change their mind because maybe they really needed alone time or aren’t comfortable enough yet.

Spending so much of your time at work can be seen as a bummer, but getting along with your coworker can improve how you feel about coming into work every day.

By Kaitlin Hurtado

Uloop Writer
Hello! I'm Kaitlin, a fourth year Literary Journalism major at UC Irvine. I'm a writer on Uloop's national team and a campus editor for UCI.

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