Being a considerate Coworker

Posted by John Carroll on Friday, April 11, 2014 Under: Workplace

Most workers put a lot of thought and consideration into making sure clients, customers and vendors are pleased.  While being attentive to the needs of your external professional network is important, don’t forget to reserve some thoughtfulness for the people you share an office with every day.   Here are some tips to help you become a more considerate coworker:

Respect personal space.

It takes time to learn the personal boundaries of all of your coworkers, so show some courtesy by knocking before you enter someone’s office and asking permission before borrowing anything from their desk.  Doing this shows your coworker that you have respect for their space and possessions.  After a while, you will learn who is cool with you using their tape while they are away, and who would prefer that you borrow someone else’s. 

Clean up your messes.

Be conscientious about cleanliness. This is not your home; this is a shared workspace that should be kept clean for the benefit of all employees, clients and customers.  Keep your desk tidy, so you can find what you need quickly.  You don’t want to keep your clients or fellow employees waiting while you shuffle through a mountain of papers on your desk. Leave the meeting room looking neat and clean for the next occupants. If you prepare food in the office kitchen, make sure you wipe up your crumbs and wash your dishes when you are finished.  Also be sure to throw out food stored in the fridge before it goes bad.

Avoid gossip.

By talking down about your fellow employees or boss with other workmates, you risk bringing unneeded drama and distraction into the office.  If what you say is overheard by the wrong person, word will likely spread and cause hurt feelings and possible arguments.  Not to mention, being known as gossipmonger won’t do anything to improve your workplace reputation.  If your personal ethics are offended by something someone says or does, address them directly instead of talking behind their back.  If your eyes are offended by someone’s new hairstyle, just keep it to yourself. 

Be on time.

Showing up late to meetings and other appointments affects more than just your personal schedule.  If a staff meeting has to be pushed back because of your tardiness, your boss and coworkers will have to choose between either shifting their individual schedules back, or rushing through important topics in the meeting.  Worse, if you are late for an appointment with a client or customer, you risk making a negative impact on your company’s professional reputation.  

Stay positive.

Or at least put up a good show.  Negative feelings are contagious.  If you are having a bad day, try your best to avoid bringing everyone else down.  Taking turns airing out frustrations with a coworker can sometimes provide great stress relief, but be careful not to hold unwilling participants captive in a swamp of negativity. Also keep your tone of voice and facial expressions in check.  If you are speaking to your coworker or boss with a smile on your face, they are much more likely to leave the chat smiling too. 

In : Workplace 


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