Top 5 Tips for Managing Coworkers

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Top 5 Tips on Managing Coworkers

By: Tori Glaude

Working a 9-5 job becomes a major part of your life. With your job becoming a second home, it’s important that you’re at peace with coworkers. To avoid having tension on the job, here are some ways to manage coworkers:

  1. Be professional, but stern with coworkers you’re having issues with. We all have bad days at work, but a bad day for a coworker doesn’t give them permission to take it out on you. It’s important to voice your opinions so that you won’t be an easy target for other angry coworkers, and to also remind him or her what’s important to get the job done. The best language to use is to face-to face communication. In the age of technology, email and texting can be so convenient. However, this should not be the first line of communication for urgent requests or explaining complicated matters.
  2. Dealing with office drama—you can avoid getting into drama by deciding which topics are off-limits. Some of the topics you can avoid discussing are: giving out personal information, religion, political views or debatable topics. The best way to avoid office drama is to voice your opinions only when something is pertinent to you and to draw boundaries for coworkers when needed. Also, be mindful who you decide to vent to.

  3. For unproductive (aka “lazy”) coworkers – the best way to deal with them is to talk to them one-on-one. Sometimes the issue could be that there are some areas of the job he or she isn’t fully comfortable with doing, forcing you to pick up the slack. If you feel uncomfortable with talking to your coworker, then you could ask your boss to step in. And remember, do not feel pressured to take on more than you need to. I had to deal with a coworker who refused to work. The only thing she did was come to work and sit. For a while, I dealt with her by asking her for help when needed, but she wasn’t getting the picture of her expectations. Eventually, the time came for me to ask her how she assesses the job and she opened up about her difficulties. I told her in a respectful way how I feel about working with her and she was receptive to it and made more of an effort.

  4. Dealing with competitive coworkers. This type of coworkers come off as “know-it-all” and may try to beat you to the punch line or look down on your work capabilities. The best ways to deal with them are to keep conversations brief and never feel like you have to out-do them. Always remember that your responsibility is to do the job the best way you can, and at the end of the day, your coworker isn’t the one who will be evaluating you for a promotion.

  5. Dealing with coworkers with bad attitudes. There may be some colleagues you dread approaching because of the negative experiences you had with them in the past. To make approaching them less painful as possible, give them a clear outline of what you need from them. Ignore their attitude because you have a job to do, and it doesn't include being their therapist.   

Try these methods out when handling difficult coworkers and hopefully this can improve the work environment!