Getting Along With Your Coworkers: 5 Tips for Playing Nice

By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD on September 19, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

You may work on a lot of independent projects, but you surely don't work in a bubble. Chances are you're sharing office space, or work in a cubicle environment so you're coming into contact with people all day.

It's sometimes hard to be friendly when you're stressed and working on a deadline, but being sour will get you nowhere fast. Didn't your mama ever tell you that you "catch more flies with honey than vinegar?"

Here are five easy tips that will keep you off of everyone's hit list.

1. Thou Shalt Not Steal Lunch

We love the idea of bringing lunch to work. We're not fans of people who go grocery shopping for their lunch in the work refrigerator. That's just not cool -- oh yeah, and it's theft. You are a lawyer, you know the definition of theft. Don't.

2. Thou Shalt Not Make Too Much Noise

Have you ever tried to read a 70-page opinion while your co-worker is yapping away about their weekend. Don't be that guy. No one cares. Also if you listen to music while you work, either wear headphones or shut your door. We just want to get our work done and go home. Pretend you're in a library and shhhhhhhh.

3. Thou Shalt Not be Odorous

Personal grooming in extremes is bad: Not enough and you're smelly. Too much perfume, and ... you're smelly. Try to keep your scents neutral (think: use deodorant, don't use perfume). This rule goes for super-smelly lunches. No one wants to take in the odors of your tuna sandwich or meatball sub. If you're going to eat something with potent scents, do it in the lunch room, not at your desk.

4. Thou Shalt Not be Mean

It's amazing how far a "good morning," "please," and "thank you" will take you. Don't forget to just be plain old nice to people. No matter how stressed you get, always be polite. There's a nice, and not-so-nice way to say everything.

5. Thou Shalt Not be Messy

This is absolutely critical if you are in a shared workspace. You don't want to known as the Pig-Pen of the group. Try to keep clutter to a minimum and certainly, keep it in your designated area. It's one thing to keep your messy area, but if you creep in on other people's spaces you will elicit "Oh, no he didn't"-type responses.

Whether you're a people-person, or an independent thinker, getting along with people is a trait we should all share. It makes for a much more pleasant work environment -- there's no reason to add more stress to an already stressful job.

Related Resources:

Copied to clipboard