Effective co-operation at the workplace leads to success, for both the individual and the businesses they work for. It instils confidence amongst teams, which in turn, enables them to achieve common goals. Learning to be the perfect co-worker is something everyone should strive for. We’ve come up with some tips that we think will start you on that journey.
1. Get off on the right foot
Bringing positivity to the start of the day sets your team up for a productive day. Numerous studies have found that happiness is intrinsically linked to productivity. Remember, mornings aren’t everyone’s favourite time of day, so keep it simple. Make sure you smile and greet people, and you’re off to a winner.
2. Respect people’s time
This is the ultimate perfect co-worker practice. It applies to every aspect of your job, so whilst it is vital that you respond to emails promptly and turn up to meeting’s on time, it’s also important to give people notice when tasks are going to take a little longer. People appreciate it when you give them notice if you’re going to be late because it gives them time to adjust accordingly.
3. Lighten the workload of an absent colleague
Having to take time off work is a stressful time for everyone – it puts you behind deadlines and piles things onto your to-do list. Offering to take on tasks for an absent colleague helps to reduce their worry, proves your willingness to be a team member and makes things easier for everyone because if one person suffers, the whole team does. However, you need to make sure you can still complete your tasks on-time, so we advise taking on smaller tasks where possible.
4. Ask for people’s opinions
It’s a commonly accepted truth that almost everyone likes to be asked their opinion on things. So, the next time you have an issue to deal with that you’re unsure about, or a project that you need a second pair of eyes to read over, ask a colleague. Even if you’re not sure of their advice, thank them. They’ve taken up their time to try to help you, and we all know how precious time at work is.
5. Stay clear of gossip
Trust is one of the key factors to being a respected and effective co-worker, and the surest way to break this trust is to gossip about your peers. It might be tempting to get involved with the office rumour mill, but avoid it where possible. The best way to limit the amount of gossip amongst your team is to be communicative and honest. The more transparent everyone is about each other, the less office drama there is and less office drama means more work gets done.
6. Make social rituals
Social rituals are the things that make people friends: they’re the times we get to know more about each other. Think of your own friendship group and you’ll begin to realise that the trip down to the pub once a week, or hosted group dinners are the glue which keeps you together. Transfer the same principal over to the office and you’ll find it to be just as effective. A great way to achieve this is to suggest a day where everyone gets together to eat: a Friday Feast perhaps?
A recent study conducted in over 500 organisations, involving more than 200,000 people found that peer motivation and camaraderie were the most important incentives to work hard. This goes some way to prove that being the perfect co-worker is worth your time and effort. Remember, the harder everyone works, the more successful you’ll be – after all, success is ultimately what all fulfilling work is all about.
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