10 Ways to Be a Better Coworker

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January 22, 2015

If you’re a working mom, you’ve definitely got coworkers. Some days the office environment can be relatively easy and sometimes it can be a real challenge. It’s worth pointing out, though, that even if things are great, you can always make things a little better by focusing on who you are as a coworker. Here are 10 ways in which you can improve the mood and, likely, boost productivity.

Bring Good Cheer

Life isn’t always easy but it’s best to make a concerted effort to bring our game faces to the table. Be mindful of your facial expressions and the messages that they may send to others. Smile when you speak to others, even if it’s over the phone. It will also help to keep you in a good mood too!

Handle Your Business

Most of us have had a coworker go through something horrendous in their personal lives and a good team will rally during those time to shared the workload. It’s an entirely different story if someone is going through constant drama. Make sure you aren’t the person bringing that sort of stress into the workplace by handling your business and leaving it at the door when you clock in.

Don’t be a Gossip

It can be so tempting to chime in when people are talking about coworkers, situations, workplace policies, etc… Avoid the temptation. Not will you be adding fuel to the fire if you lend your voice to this type of negativity but you also run the risk of seriously hurting someone’s feelings or damaging your own reputation. It’s not worth it. Keep your thoughts to yourself and, if you must vent, do it with friends who have no connection to your job.

Volunteer to Help

If you are ahead on your own pile of work, offer to pitch in and help wherever you can (don’t play favorites!). Be sure, however, to do it in a respectful, team-player way to avoid making your coworkers feel judged or threatened.

Praise Their Triumphs

This one might be tough but be genuinely happy when things go well for your coworkers. We all have moments of insecurity and jealousy but having the right attitude can make a big difference in your career in the long-run. Most of us are doing our best and deserve some rewards and successes along the way.

Arrive on Time

Traffic, accidents and other occasional delays are going to happen but repeated tardiness is disrespectful and inconsiderate. We all have lives and it’s not fair to make coworkers wait on you on a regular basis. Figure out what is disrupting your schedule and come up with a new routine. Everyone will be grateful and you won’t be as stressed out.

Don’t be the Smelly Kid

Whether it’s body odor, perfume/cologne or the foods you eat, be considerate of the fact that you are sharing the air with others. They have every right to be comfortable in their workplace which may mean you have to make some compromises. Pay attention to personal hygiene, avoid wearing strong scents and save pungent meals/snacks (such as popcorn, oranges or foods with heavy garlic) for when you are in the comfort of your own home.

Be a Cheerleader

Certain times of year things can get much busier or stressful in the workplace or a particularly intense deadline could be looming overhead. Rather than join the chorus of complaining voices, be a cheerleader for those around you. Leave an encouraging note on the desk of someone who is feeling overwhelmed. Bring bagels and donuts to share for breakfast one morning. You never know how one random act of kindness could change someone’s day.

Value Their Opinion

One complaint that many of us share in both our personal and professional lives is that we feel like we aren’t being heard. Make an effort to consider the feelings and opinions of your coworkers. Ask them for feedback on things and actually think about what they’ve said. This simple act can have a huge, positive impact on your relationship and could improve your work.

Work Quietly

Some of us like to have a little music playing while we work while others prefer total silence. It’s better to err on the side of caution and consider wearing earbuds (if policy allows) in order to keep the peace. Be mindful of any disruptive habits you might have such as drumming your desk, tapping your feet or taking personal calls. Make an effort to be courteous to your coworkers at all times.

It’s not always easy to get along with people in the workplace but, with a little effort, you can make yourself more likeable and approachable which can have a ripple effect in the office.

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