Skip to main content

How to Be a Better Co-Worker

Work can get pretty grim if your boss hates you and you don't have any office friends. Here's how to get on everyone's good side.


  • Step 1: Work hard Be good at your own job. If you're efficient, you reduce the pressure on everyone around you: be early, don't let paperwork pile up, and respond to emails and calls promptly.
  • Step 2: Pitch in Pitch in wherever you're needed—especially if it's "not your job." Nobody likes a prima donna.
  • Step 3: Keep your voice down Keep your voice down, especially on personal phone calls. There's nothing worse than having to listen to someone in the next cubicle describe a scaly rash or coo to a new love interest.
  • TIP: Keep your cell phone on mute or low—with a generic, non-obnoxious ring tone.
  • Step 4: Don't smell Don't stink. No, literally: just because you can't smell the effects of your early morning jog or your favorite perfume doesn't mean everyone else can't. Go easy on the scent, no matter what it is.
  • Step 5: Gossip within reason Go ahead and gossip. Research shows it's a valuable way to start and cement relationships. Just keep it reasonable—not petty or mean and not over email.
  • Step 6: Be considerate Be considerate. If you take the last cup of coffee, make another pot. Save strong-smelling foods for home, especially if you work in tight quarters. Don't leave a jammed copy machine for someone else to deal with.
  • Step 7: Be cheerful Leave your bad moods at home. Everyone has problems, and no doubt some of your colleagues have worse troubles than you.
  • Step 8: Be polite Be polite to everyone, especially those who are lower on the office food chain. It's the right thing to do, and you never know when you might need them on your side.
  • Step 9: Be a team player Don't go home without asking if your colleagues need any help, and join in the occasional social gathering. And if someone's had a bad day, buy them a margarita.
  • FACT: Three in four workers reportedly suffer from stress—and most list a troublesome coworker as the main source.

You Will Need

  • A good work ethic
  • A considerate nature
  • And humility

Popular Categories