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How to be a good colleague

colleagues supporting each other at workWellbeing at work: How to be a good colleague

Many of us have experienced changes to the way we work over the last two years. It’s important to maintain wellbeing at work as we spend so much time at our jobs and with our co-workers. Here are some tips on how you can be a good colleague…

Express your appreciation

When people feel unappreciated at work, they can become unmotivated and unwilling to make an effort. It can be very frustrating if you’re not being recognized for the hard work you are doing.

Make sure you thank your colleagues or team members for the work they have done, especially if it’s something that has helped you in your role. Either thank them face-to-face or write a thoughtful email.

Respond to emails or calls promptly

Try to reply to your colleagues as soon as you can. They may be relying on your response to move a piece of work forward or meet a deadline. Alternatively, if you don’t have time to respond properly at the time, just send a quick email to explain you’re held up at the moment and you’ll get back to them later – you could give a rough timeframe to help manage their expectations and so that they don’t chase you again.

Steer clear of gossip

It’s never nice to talk about someone behind their back. Office gossip can be risky and unprofessional. It’s best to keep all lines of communication open with your colleagues so that you can be transparent and honest, then there’s no room for speculation or rumour-spreading.

Be humble

You don’t have to sell yourself short to be humble. The ability to recognise your own limitations and shortcomings can make it easier to develop more meaningful relationships with your colleagues.

Avoid annoying office habits

If you share office space or meeting rooms, make sure you clean up after yourself and keep the space tidy. Be conscious of how loud you play your music or how frequently you take long calls. If you have an Zoom meeting or long phone call, try take it in another room so as not to disturb your co-workers. Be aware of things like time management and eating at your desk. Be considerate and respectful of each other.

Reach out to new teammates

It’s always nerve-wracking when starting a new job. Make your new colleagues feel welcome by offering to help, answering any questions they may have, ask them welcoming questions, and make an effort to make them feel at ease.

Be respectful of people’s time

We’re all busy and stressed. We’re all dealing with things we don’t want to deal with. And, we all wish there were more than 24 hours in a day.

You can take small steps towards making things more manageable by respecting your colleagues’ time. Make an effort to show up on time and come prepared. And if a meeting ends early, don’t try to fill the time – let people go!

Bring snacks

It’s always lovely when someone offers you a treat! Why not, every once in a while, make your colleagues smile and bring in a few snacks to enjoy – obviously, always be mindful of food allergies!

Be helpfulĀ 

If you overhear a colleague struggling with an IT problem and you know how to solve it, step in and offer to help. It only takes a few minutes out of your day and will be very much appreciated. Or, maybe someone is looking for a contractor and you know someone perfect for the job, introduce them!

Support in absence

If a co-worker is off sick, offer to pick up some of their tasks while they’re away. This will help reduce their worry and stress, and they’ll likely return the favour if you’re ever absent.


Sometimes the best thing we can do to support someone is to listen. We all need to vent now and then, so if a colleague is frustrated and needs to get something off their chest, lend your ear and let them talk. By listening, it will help you to understand what they’re going through and maybe help to find a solution.

For more information…

Find more tips and advice on HubSpot.

You can find further information and resources to support wellbeing in the workplace on the Mind website.

If you need support with your mental health, you can refer yourself to Community Living Well by completing this online form.


Author: Stewart Gillespie
Posted on: 13th July 2022

SMART St Mary Abbots Rehabilitation and Training
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