The Blog

Teammate Tactics: Strategies for Better Workplace Relations

Developing friendly and productive relationships with colleagues is a bit like mastering an intricate dance… It requires awareness, intention, and a series of deliberate steps! Many of us spend 40-plus hours a week working – be that in the office or collaborating with colleagues via screens or a phone. People in the UK often spend more time with their co-workers than with their friends and families, and these co-workers might have significantly different interests, values, and backgrounds. So, it’s more than just sharing a cup of coffee or navigating through project deadlines together; it’s about creating an environment where respect, cooperation, and positive interactions are the norm.


Below are our top ten tips to help boost your workplace relationships. It’s not about changing who you are but about adapting how you engage with your teammates to create a more supportive and productive environment – making your working relationships work!


  1. Mutual respect – you don’t have to get on with everybody, but you should be respectful of each other’s feelings, space, time, and comfort. Simple things like taking your noisy phone conversation elsewhere, turning up on time and taking your dirty dishes to the kitchen after lunch can make a huge difference.
  1. Equally, don’t forget the basic niceties that will make the other people around you feel more at ease. Simple things like smiling, saying hello, and saying please and thank you can go a long way to making your office environment more pleasant.
  1. Avoid talking about politics, religion, and other potentially controversial subjects – this can cause unnecessary conflict, and there’s also no need to talk about these things at work. Save it for your friends and family.
  1. Don’t gossip – it may be difficult to resist, but if you engage in ‘harmless’ gossiping, you could earn yourself an untrustworthy reputation amongst your co-workers or end up hurting someone’s feelings. Damaged relationships can be difficult to repair.
  1. Ask for help or advice – then return the favour. A great way to build teamwork is to show your colleagues that you value their advice and opinions by asking for it – and being willing to help them if they ever need it.
  1. Give credit where it’s due and own up to your mistakes. Likewise, stealing credit for other people’s good work is a fast way to make enemies around the office.
  1. Don’t be antisocial – build up a rapport with your colleagues by accepting invitations to social events or chatting over lunch. It can make the day go far more smoothly (and quickly!) if you can positively engage with the people around you.
  1. Criticise constructively – if you must criticise someone’s work, increase the likelihood of it being well-received by starting off with something positive. You can then give them something specific that can be improved rather than attacking their hard work. It also helps to focus your criticisms on the situation, not the person.
  1. Resolve problems, don’t ignore them – things are only going to improve if you face your problems head-on. If you don’t get on with someone, don’t avoid him or her but look to find some common ground, talk to them, and try to work it out. Be willing to accept that they may be reacting to bad signals you are unintentionally giving off.
  1. Consider carefully whether to complain to management about a situation… Going over someone’s head is one of the fastest ways to ruin relationships with your co-workers. It can ruin the vital sense of camaraderie in your team and lead to an office culture of game-playing and one-upmanship that can make even the most pleasant of office environments into a Machiavellian nightmare!

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