5 Ways to Improve Your Work Relationships | ExpatWoman.com

5 Ways to Improve Your Work Relationships

Here's five pieces of advice to help you maintain a good relationship with your co-workers in the office

Posted on

5 April 2016

Last updated on 22 May 2017
5 Ways to Improve Your Work Relationships

Can you imagine having to sit for 8 or 9 hours of the day next to someone you can’t stand? You’ll go crazy! 


Though some may disagree, it is important to have a good relationship with your co-workers, in order to establish a stable and friendly environment in the office.

On average, an employee spends nine hours of their day at work. That means we spend more time with our co-workers than we do with our families during the working day!

For that reason, maintaining positive relationships at work is important, in order to keep the overall ambiance of the office warm and friendly, and to help you keep your cool, even in the most stressful of situations!

While some believe that co-workers are just strangers that you work with, it’s important to remember, that every close friend you’ve ever had, was once a stranger...

There, we’ve said it!

Now, let’s cut the tension between you and your colleagues and focus on building solid, positive relationships in the workplace!

1. Be approachable

It’s important that you keep a positive and approachable vibe, so that your colleagues feel comfortable communicating and expressing their thoughts and feelings with you in the workplace, without having to feel intimidated.

Intimidation can be detrimental to the company, so be sure to be likeable and offer assistance and support for any work-related tasks to your colleagues.

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2. Don’t judge

Being judgmental can bring a very negative and confrontational atmosphere in the office.

Being non-judgmental can encourage your co-workers to talk about any issues and deescalate any concerns in a quick and efficient manner, without offending anyone in the process.

3. Be Honest

Just as you would with your personal relationships outside the office, it’s important to keep it real and communicate effectively and efficiently.

This isn’t only for your own well-being, but this also helps reduce gossip and tension in the office.

4. Get to know your colleagues

One of the ways that you can get to know your co-workers and maintain that professional relationship is to grab lunch together or go out for coffee.

Going out to an informal setting, even if it’s just for a few minutes can help break the ice and give you a chance to learn more about each other.

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5. What’s the common interest?

If it is absolutely awkward between you and your colleagues, and going for coffee didn’t break the ice, then you need to find a common interest.

Whether it be sports, music, dogs, movies, hobbies or anything else, having something in common with your co-worker makes for a good conversation starter and bonding time over your common guilty pleasures!


While some think that work is just a place for you to show up, do your work and go home, others believe that work is where you spend half of your waking life, thus it is vital that you build strong social relationships with your colleagues. Work can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be agonizing.

Improving your relationships with your co-workers can go a long way in making your work environment positive and enjoyable. Improving your relationships can start with open communications, set limitations and taking short breaks throughout the day to release your stress – after all, you’re a human, not a robot.