Every employee wants to be that coworker the entire team loves. But when you’re working with the same people day in and day out, it can be challenging to constantly put your best foot forward. Whether you’re in the same workplace for a while or you’re just starting out, here are five ways to be a better coworker.
- Communicate in person
Yes, it’s old-fashioned, and yes, there are so many other ways to communicate, but nothing beats a face-to-face conversation. Whenever the opportunity presents itself, talk to your coworkers in person. In an NPR TED Radio Hour, psychologist Susan Pinker said that face-to-face interactions can trigger the release of oxytocin in the body, which can positively impact your mood and help promote trust and collaboration.
- Pay it forward
Kindness has a place in the workforce, too. Whenever you can, do a favor for a coworker without expecting anything in return. You can offer to make another team member a coffee, to pick up lunch if you’re running out anyway or even to help with their workload if you see they’re overwhelmed. Kindness always generates warm feelings in both directions.
- Work hard
Nobody likes a shirker. Make sure you always do your job well and meet all your expectations at work. You’ll be helping the entire team stay productive and avoid any resentment that coworkers may harbor toward a member of the team who doesn’t pull their weight.
- Be honest about your capacity
While you want to do your job well, it’s also important not to take on more than you can handle. If you’re asked to shoulder additional work and you’re completely swamped, you’re better off explaining that you can’t take on any more work at the moment, instead of agreeing to do it and then struggling to get it done on time or let other work suffer. It’s always best to be honest – with others and with yourself.
- Avoid gossip
Catching up on office gossip around the water cooler is a daily ritual for many employees, but it doesn’t make many friends. It’s always great fun to hear the latest about everyone at the office, but no one wants to be the one everyone else is dishing about. If you build a name for yourself as the team member who avoids gossip, you’ll also be the one everyone loves and knows they can trust completely.
Follow these tips to put your best foot forward at work!
Your Turn: Are you an awesome co-worker? Tell us about it in the comments.