Australia, from Melbourne to Canberra, is perceived to have professional but friendly office settings. Good working relationships help employees feel more loyal to their workplaces. A harmonious office can also help workers advance their careers and work through tough crunches.
So, how can office relationships be improved? Read on and find out.
Any good relationship, professional or personal, starts with trust. Trust is knowing that your officemates have your back, whether by delivering materials on time or being there when you need someone to cover for your shift.
Experts believe trust is a formula for success. Authenticity and vulnerability go hand in hand and the multiplier is credibility. Without credibility, there’s no leveraging authenticity or vulnerability. Credibility means responding to a colleague’s email even when you don’t have all the answers, meeting deadlines, and showing up to meetings you committed to.
Being honest about deficiencies and what you’re capable of—which plays into vulnerability in the marketplace—will let others know you’re being “real.”
Listen to Your Co-Workers
Good interpersonal relationships start with good listeners and observers. The next time you park yourself in communal office furniture during lunch, pay attention to what your officemates are saying. Unless it’s idle gossip—at which point, excuse yourself—, listening to what they have to say about the office can help direct your next course of action. The best solutions to work tasks or office-related problems can be found in the words and experiences of the people who also face these complications.
The Blame Game Can Burn Bridges
Credibility plays into this tip. If you make a mistake, own up to it and don’t play the blame game. Even when it’s not your fault, don’t look for scapegoats and pin failures on someone else. Functional offices will need to find those involved in a problem but don’t be the type of person who throws people under the bus.
Being actively hostile can burn bridges between you, your co-workers, and your bosses. This can make it difficult for you to hold on to a job or find a new one.
Don’t Neglect Remote Workers
Telecommuting is proven to make employees happy. Flexible hours and an incentive to work harder due to their location make remote workers feel more satisfied with their jobs. And while they don’t see their co-workers or bosses in person, they should still be made to feel like valuable members of the company.
Constant communication is crucial for maintaining the interest of remote workers. Providing tips before they’re needed, noting birthdays and trips, and offering tools that will help employees reach out can help engage them. Respecting their time and the flexibility of remote work can also help maintain functioning relationships with remote workers.
Good office relationships do not have to bleed into your personal life. Boundaries should still be maintained between your workplace and home. Having good working relationships can engender a stronger sense of obligation towards work, but it should not come at the price of your personal life.
Don’t overshare about your personal life, set aside checking your personal accounts for coffee breaks, be efficient with your time, and make sure you live your life to the fullest. Successful CEOs still manage to have time for themselves and their family—and so should you.