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Bonding with Co-Workers: How to be the Kind of Colleague You’d Like to Have

Experts estimate that we spend as much as one-third of our lives at work, which is about the same amount of time as we spend sleeping. So it stands to reason that we want our work time to be as pleasant as possible. Working well with co-workers has been shown to help with stress and overall job performance. When people get along with their co-workers, it not only makes work a little easier to get through, but it also makes it a lot more pleasant. But how do you get there? How do you bond with your colleagues?

What does it mean to bond?

A bond refers to the relationship people have with each other. To have a bond with someone means that you have a relationship, but that doesn’t mean this relationship is romantic or even particularly close. When you bond with your colleagues, you may not be close friends, but you’ll have a certain amount of emotional attachment and respect coming from your shared working experience and the time you’ve spent together. Here are some ways to make your shared experience a positive one.

Be the kind of colleague you’d like to have

Think about the kind of person you want to work with. They’re generally pleasant and positive, right? They come into work on time and don’t ask you to cover for them often. They do their part of the work on shared projects and they don’t gossip or complain too much.

Take a moment to watch your behavior at work and try to see your actions from another person’s point of view. If you make a mess in the microwave, clean it up. If you use the last of the paper in the printer, go ahead and replace it. Spend the time and effort to ensure that you’re the type of colleague you’d like to have.

Express gratitude and appreciation

If someone does something nice for you, make sure you thank them. If they’ve helped you out on a project, go out of your way to acknowledge their help. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture - sadly, the little things are often ignored, so a simple “thank you” may be better received than you know. And the best part is your attitude can become infectious. Imagine how great it would be to work with a team where people feel appreciated!

Listen to your colleagues

No one likes to be interrupted, whether it’s in a meeting or just in a water cooler conversation, so make sure that you aren’t talking over your colleagues. And more importantly, pay attention to what they’re saying. Your colleagues may be sharing important information, and even if they aren’t, the fact that you’re listening to them and not interrupting will give them a positive impression of you.

Use your memory

Think about how you felt when a co-worker remembered where you went to school, or what your spouse does. It made a big impression, didn’t it? Something as simple as remembering a few personal details about your co-workers will make a much bigger impact than you might think. Small gestures show that you’re thinking and that you respect and value your coworkers.

Have lunch together

Have a casual lunch with your colleagues occasionally. Just sitting down with your coworkers and having a pleasant meal away from work can do wonders for your professional relationship.

Work won’t always be fun, but your working environment doesn’t have to be depressing. A positive, upbeat attitude at work will not only be appreciated by your co-workers, but it will also be recognized by management. Exerting a little effort to bond with your colleagues will help build your team and may open doors in the long run.

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