Working people on average spend more hours per year with their colleagues than with their spouses, parents, children, best friend or siblings. It therefore is important that you get along well. Following are ways in which all employees in an organisation can help to make the work environment pleasant for one another:
Be knowledgeable, efficient and hard-working.
Be optimistic and enthusiastic.
Show leadership traits without being bossy.
Be committed – don’t be the one who arrives at the office last and is the first to leave.
Greet everyone in a friendly manner when you arrive at work. You may just cheer someone up who is feeling depressed. Do the same when going home in the afternoon.
Feel free to indulge in small talk when it is opportune, for example during tea-break or lunch.
Ask your colleagues’ opinion about matters. Everyone would like to know their opinion is important. And give acknowledgement, even if you think his or her opinion is not of much value.
Avoid gossip – do not talk about your colleagues and turn a deaf ear to gossip about them.
Remain level-headed during a confrontation or difference of opinion with a colleague.
Be generous with compliments. Acknowledgement for a task well done, or because he or she did more than was expected, encourages a positive attitude.
Acknowledgement or congratulations for things not work-related, such as a race won, wedding anniversary or a child who has performed well, lets a colleague feel he or she is more than someone at work who has a task to perform.
Be genial and generous. A snack with morning tea, a thank you card for a colleague who helped you, or a flower for someone going through a rough time, does wonders.
Maintain good office etiquette by for example answering calls or e-mails regularly. By neglecting this you might be making another person’s work difficult and sending out the message that he or she is not important to you.
Be humble and acknowledge that sometimes you do not have all the answers. Being a know-all can be offensive.
Respect your colleagues by guarding against irritating office habits, such as drinking the last coffee or using the last photocopying paper without replenishing or replacing it. Other things that might irritate are boisterous chats over the phone, ear-deafening music, chewing too loudly or slurping your coffee, or leaving the tea station in chaos.
Reach out to new colleagues – let them feel welcome, introduce them to the rest of the team, show them where all the facilities are.
Be generous with your knowledge.
Respect others’ time by arriving on time for meetings and not wasting time with unnecessary questions, remarks and comments while the meeting could already have adjourned.
Avoid chit-chat with your colleague, especially when you see he or she is experiencing a lot of work pressure.
Lighten your colleagues’ work load if you are not under pressure yourself. Help where you can if he or she cannot be at work due to illness, leave of attending a course, or even when his or her workload is so great that is it causing tension.
Create office traditions by for example doing something special once per week or per month which everyone can look forward to amid work pressure. Go and have some cake at the cafeteria, bring along some eats when it is your birthday, or order take-aways one Friday per month which everyone can enjoy together.