Skip to content


Everyone wants to enjoy their workplace and a lot of this enjoyment comes down to the people that we work with and how well we get along with them. So how can we build good relationships in the workplace?



Be Polite


It can be easy to forget the common courtesies of life when you’re under the pump or thinking about what you have to do today. A basic “hello, how are you?” delivered with a smile however will go a long way towards setting yourself up with your colleagues.

You spend a hell of a lot of your life with your colleagues, so being polite is important – especially if it comes to the point where you might need to ask favours (or get promoted into a leadership position).



Be Positive


Obviously no one can be 100% positive, 100% of the time (if you can, I take my hat off to you) but try not to be that person who’s seen as the “negative Nancy”. Instead take a little bit of time when you speak to your colleagues to encourage them. Did they do a great job on their last project? Let them know you noticed. Have they impressed you at work lately? Tell them. People will always remember and have loyalty to someone that has made them feel good, so pump your colleagues up every now and then.



Have Empathy


Respect the workloads that your colleagues have on their desks and don’t just think about your own. Everyone believes that their work is important so ignoring the stresses / time pressures they might be facing to get a project done will not encourage a great working relationship.



Think about your Questions (before you ask them)


Can you help yourself? One of the things people often find the most annoying in a working situation are colleagues who don’t seem to think for themselves. Asking questions (particularly if you’re learning a new job) is not in itself a bad thing, but when the question is something you could easily figure out for yourself, the questionee will probably just feel like you’ve wasted their time.



Communicate Effectively


We’ve spoken about the importance of good communication previously (and no doubt will again) because effective communication is key in the workplace. If it’s an email, make sure your grammar / spelling is on the money and your thought process is ordered logically. If it’s face to face, the same applies but you also have to consider your delivery, body language and tone of voice. No matter the mode of communication, always be clear and concise.



Be Careful with Social Media


This one is huge in the modern day workplace. Social media has become part of every day life but one must be excessively careful about what they post about their workplace or colleagues.

Most companies have policies when it comes to social media but general rules of thumb apply. If you wouldn’t say it to a person’s (or your bosses) face, don’t post it on social media. If you would be offended if someone was saying it about yourself, don’t post it to social media. If you have any hesitation that it might not okay, don’t post it to social media.



Avoid Office Gossip


On the same track as the above, try and avoid getting embroiled in the office gossip chain. It never ends well and the people you are gossiping about pretty much ALWAYS find out. There is absolutely no benefit from gossiping about your colleagues so better to avoid it all together.



Be the Bigger Person


There’s always the chance that at some point in your career, you’ll have to work closely with someone that you don’t like. Most of the above rules apply, but if they’re really grinding your gears, be the bigger person. The calmer and more polite you are, the more productive and successful you will be. If it really becomes a problem, then calmly (and free of emotion) discuss it with your manager and ask to be reassigned (if possible).



Don’t Expect Results Overnight


Like any relationship, building relationships with your colleagues doesn’t happen overnight. It takes work. It’s best to not try and be everyone’s best friend straight out of the gate, but develop a gradual rapport. Eventually, you’ll find your have great (and lasting) relationships that breed their own successes.