Why you should be kinder to your colleagues in December
There are two kinds of people, those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there. Indira Gandhi
December is the time when everyone wants a holiday, but not everyone can have one. We’re all tired, we’re all burnt out – but teamwork doesn’t cease because morale is dropping off. If anything, this is the time of year when you should be kinder to your team mates in the office. This week Happiness Weekly looks at why it’s important to be kind to your colleagues, particularly around Christmas time.
1. No one is hiring at this time of year
At a very basic level – you’re stuck with them. Very few companies hire just before Christmas and it’s very difficult to get a new job even if you’re actively looking. If not going on holidays, your colleagues are generally not going anywhere in December, so you might as well accept it now and work to make this month as comfortable as possible for everyone in the office.
2. Expenses are putting a strain on everyone
In case you haven’t noticed, everything has become a lot more expensive and wages are not matching the standard of living. The expense of Christmas on top of everything can cause a real strain on people, so it’s nice to keep in mind that generally in December people are trying the best they can under the stress they feel. Before criticising and judging, it’s always good to keep an open mind and remember you don’t know what you don’t know.
3. One day you may need that colleague’s support
Sometimes it feels easier to assume someone is slacking off and being critical of someone when we’re not looking at the bigger picture. The best way to think about it is that you have been selected to work in the best team possible and a team is only as strong as its weakest link. Don’t let the team down and don’t encourage negativity – you never know when you’re going to need your colleague’s help and support. Keep working hard and achieving your goals, be helpful where you can, and leave others to take responsibility for their workload.
4. Work should be fun, you spend most of your life there
The average person spends around nine hours a day, five days a week with the people in their office. While you don’t need to be best friends with them – there’s no doubt the time will pass faster if you at least get along with those you work with. Additionally, studies show that disagreements with colleagues and bad working relationships deflate morale and impair performance even more than rumours of redundancies. We only live once and life is to be enjoyed, so try to make the most of it. Have fun, spend time with the people you enjoy being with and take a small step back from those you don’t – but still be close enough to get the job done well.
How you can contribute to a happy work environment – Treat everyone like family
– Say a cheerful “good morning” to the office each morning – in a small office, ensure you don’t leave anyone out
– Ask for their opinion on things you’re working on – it makes them feel included
– Avoid gossip – don’t start it, don’t continue it, don’t play into it
– Give compliments often – too often we focus on what people are doing wrong. Remember to give credit where credit is due – make a point of telling your colleagues publicly on a job well done – Express your ideas and be punctual – it shows you value the business and people’s time – Make positive assumptions– don’t assume you are working harder than another team mate because they’re elsewhere or that your boss is clueless. Toxic thinking breeds negative attitudes and makes workplaces miserable. Instead assume everyone is doing their best
– Follow this cubicle etiquette by Peggy Morrow to ensure you are being kind to your co-workers.