Some often say that most of us spend a lot more time with our officemates than with our family and friends. This statement is mostly true because we are often at work for most of the week.

Since we do spend a lot of time with them, it will be easier to work if we have a great relationship with them. Failure to do so and you will find yourself having difficulties working with colleagues who don’t like you.

To help you get along with your officemates, here are some ways on how you can improve your workplace relationships:

#1 Give them respect

You do not have to be everyone’s friend while in the workplace.

What matters is that you recognize their position in the team and give them the due respect. You can show this respect by not taking their food, calling out sick if you are not feeling well, and not taking credit for something you didn’t do.

If co-workers tell you that you need to improve or change your behaviour, keep an open mind, hear their opinions out and if it is genuine feedback, try to change for your own growth.

#2 Start off by being friendly

If you are new in the team or just starting your new job, it can be frustrating to worry on how well you will bond with your colleagues.

Admittedly, strong work relationships will take time before it becomes visible.

With this in mind, start your first day by being friendly and smile if you don’t know how to start small talk. You should also ask questions when you need it and accept advice when they offer it.

Being obnoxious will make you special – specially annoying to others!

#3 Familiarize and Practice Office Rules

Like at home, school and other public places, you need to exercise good manners even at work.

Every workspace or office has office rules in place to ensure everyone is organized and peaceful. Some of the office rules you need to know are email etiquette, punctuality and appropriate office wear.

Sure, you may not want to be part of the herd and you want to stand out from the crowd. Let your performance do the shining while you keep out of trouble and in HR’s line of sight by following your company’s regulations.

#4 Say no to gossip

Workplace gossip is intense and can lead to many conflicts between coworkers.

While it can be tempting to share information with others, but it can give a different impression to your colleagues. If you feel that urge to gossip, stop yourself by avoiding your coworkers.

Remember, you don’t want to be put into a spot where there are malicious intent to hurt one of your coworkers.

#5 Know why there is a problem

Sometimes, you may find it difficult to relate to your colleagues and end up in a blank once you think about the reasons why.

When you feel like everyone is ignoring you, take the time to explore your interactions with them and see if you did something wrong. We can’t see our flaws at times and it take courage for us to approach the people who can, like a mentor or your supervisor.

It can be hard to accept if you are the one causing the problem, but once you know this issue, you can do something to resolve the problem.

#6 Don’t complain immediately to your team leader

When your ideas or proposals don’t get accepted, don’t immediately complain to your team leader. Try to look into your proposal or problem first and see if you can improve on it.

You are here to provide solutions to existing problems even through the problems may not be yours. Step up to the challenge and you may find yourself looking at a promotion soon!

If you don’t see any ways to remedy the issue, you can turn to your team leader for help.

#7 Communicate with them directly

A good working relationship with your colleagues can be reached if you can speak to them directly. It is the best way to resolve conflicts since you and your colleague can discuss it without having another party look in your issue. Make sure to communicate politely, talk straight to the point and listen with an open mind.

#8 Offer incentives

If your colleagues won’t work with you, you can offer them an incentive. You can say that if they cooperate with you for your team’s project, they will be able to speed up the work and get great results. It can also lead to recognition and promotion.

#9 Hangout with them

A major reason why some people don’t work well together is that they don’t know each other well. To get to know your colleagues, why not hang out with them during breaks or after work?

Sometimes, the reason why they are hard to talk to can be because they want to concentrate in their work. When you see them outside work, it is a less formal environment. They are relaxed, letting their guard down and they may even act completely different.

#10 Go Above and Beyond

Everyone needs help every now and then. Offer to help them if you can spare the time and don’t expect to take credit for it. Any kind of help will be appreciated if you are sincere.

Whether it is to help a coworker to take away lunch because he is too tied up with work to be away from his desk or offer to take on extra shift so that your teammate can rushed home to pick up his child, will definitely build better bonds in the office.


Building a good workplace relationship takes time to develop, but there are many ways to make it possible. With these tips, I hope that it helps you find opportunities to make your workplace friendly.

Do you have any great suggestions to share with us? All are welcome in the comments below.

For articles relating to work environment, these may interest you:
How To Make A Great First Impression At Your New Workplace
What Is A Toxic Workplace?

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39 replies on “10 Ways to Improve Your Workplace Relationships

  1. You have prepared professional advice for everyone who wants to feel good at work. I will add that you must not worry about gossip. Pretend not to hear.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Here’s what it boils down too.

    We ARE either part of the problem or part (or maybe even ALL ) of the solution.

    This is true in the workplace and in life.

    We decide, now CHOOSE which YOU will be.

    Thanks Kally,
    May God be with you,

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Don’t eat your coworkers’ food? That doesn’t make any sense.

    See, I roam around the office holding a giant fork.. When people eat at their desks, I lean in, say, “Oh, that looks good” and snag a bit.

    They just sit there and stare. I think it’s because they’re amazed at how awesome I am.

    Seriously, Kally, you’ve come up with some really good ideas. Some I already follow, while others are now approaches I’m going to consider. Thanks for the ideas!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I worked in an office that had a lunch thief, and the funny thing was, the company paid its staff very well indeed.
      Whoever was helping themselves to other people’s lunches wasn’t doing it because they couldn’t afford to buy their own. Maybe it was just for the criminal thrill.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Workplace relationships are tricky because like family, you can’t just stop seeing them if you don’t like them, yet the relationship level is also not as intimate as with family. Thanks for the tips on how to maintain professional but still friendly connections!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great list Kally. I have a question for you. I have a friend who has says she views me as a mentor. She has had several jobs since we worked together almost 20 years ago At that job (and at every job since) she has had personal conflicts. She is very bright and hardworking but most of us (including me) are not as quick to catch on as she is. She gets impatient with those people, but she does appreciate a good attitude. If this behavior pattern were just with one job, I could agree with her that maybe her colleagues might be in the wrong, but after 5-8 jobs both in and out of government, the problem seems to follow her. I have not felt it was my place to point this out and she has never asked me why she always ends up with colleagues or bosses who do not recognize what she brings to the team. I could let this go, which may be the best, but I am curious about what might be done to help her be the best she can be.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It really depends on what she does when she get impatient with others. Does she criticize them? Or does she jump in and help? When your friend critique someone too often, people will view it as negativity and excessive nagging. However, when your friend is impatient but takes positive action to help out, usually coworkers will appreciate the gesture more.

      So instead of “Hey, this way is so much faster. You should use my way.”, try using “Do you need help? Perhaps I can lend a hand.”

      If your friend is feeling impatient all the time, the job may not be challenging enough for her. It may be time for her to get a role where it is more fulfilling for her.

      In your place, I feel that you shouldn’t step in directly to advise her especially when she hasn’t ask for it. Maybe you can share certain website links pertaining to this issue so indirectly she still will learn something from it without feeling that you have interfered unnecessarily.

      I am only touching the surface of her problem because I will need more examples in order to understand your friend’s situation and provide better advice.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. When you go above and beyond what’s expected of you at work in the interest of your coworkers, it would be difficult for them to not like you! Supporting one another is a great way to build workplace relationships!

    Liked by 1 person

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