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8 Ways To Be a Good Co-Worker

by Jennifer Tripucka
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Monday. One of the worst days of the week… yet slightly tolerable under the right circumstances, especially if you like your coworkers. In fact, did you know that studies show your relationships with your co-workers directly affect your ability to succeed at work? Working with co-workers can be a blessing and a challenge, but luckily there are some tricks of the trade to keep the days as harmonious as possible…especially if you have coworkers like thisHere are a few ways to be an above average co-worker:


1. Keep a Thank You Card Stash.

You never know when you’re going to need one – say you receive a few gifts at work randomly (and unexpectedly) or a co-worker helps you out on a big project. It’s good to have thank you cards on hand and ready to go for that extra-way-more-thoughtful-than-you person that may catch you off guard. 

2. Keep a Birthday Card Stash.

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Birthday Card Stash in my desk drawer.

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With that comes some iTunes gift cards if you’re feeling extra nice. Or Dunkin/Starbucks cards. Just in case you forgot the celebration was today! 

3. Breath Mints.

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Yes, that onion bagel with scallion cream cheese was delicious, but now you have a 2 hour meeting with the head of your department and you don’t want him to know that your exact breakfast included a wad of garlic and onions. Gum, breath mints, or those disposable throw-away tooth brushers {wisps, I think?} are necessary. No one wants to feel like they’ve just peeled and inhaled an onion after getting within 5 feet of you.

4. Poopourri.

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Greatest thing since sliced bread. Saving 1 relationship per toilet flush at a time.

This is like, seriously, the best invention ever. Besides saving many live-in relationships around the world, poopourri is also saving many an embarrassing bathroom trip. Bring this to the bathroom with you ALWAYS. You can thank me later. If you have utterly no clue what I’m referring to, watch this:


Got it?

5. Snacks.

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Hangry:  Feeling or showing anger caused by hunger. Combination of “hungry” and “angry.” It’s REAL.

You never know how hungry you may get and most people get hAngry when they go awhile with no food. It is essential to have some go-to snacks so you don’t get snappy unreasonably while waiting for your next meal. Yes, it is perfectly acceptable to think about your next meal as soon as you finish your current one.


6. Be Nice.


We get it. You’ve had a bad day. But guess what, so has EVERYONE ELSE on the planet.  We all think our problems are the center of everyone’s universe, however, that is simply not the case. Sometimes people take something out on someone else that has nothing to do with the accidental victim. Be careful that your venting to a co-worker so it doesn’t make them feel like you’re yelling at them. Or, just refer back to #5. And eat.

7. Keep Some Cash on Hand.

Are you’re THAT co-worker who always has to borrow $5 to put money into the March Madness pool or when you order out for lunch? Make sure to have at least some singles on hand in your desk drawer so you aren’t always writing IOU’s to your co-workers. It’s fine once in a while if you’re good for the cash, but don’t make borrowing GW’s a hobby.

8. Happy Hour Fun.


Yes, we know that you have to get home to walk your dog and/or feed your kids {or just get the HELL out of here}. But once in a while, you should stop being such a stick-in-the-mud and enjoy your co-workers’ company. It doesn’t mean you have to become best friends or hang out every weekend, but you should at least acknowledge that they are people that you see almost MORE than your friends or significant other {and they deserve to see the fun side of you too}. Just make sure that fun side doesn’t include dancing on the bar of McSwiggans in your black work pumps and cardigan.


However you choose to spend your workdays, make sure you take some time to be nice and acknowledge other humans in your presence. After all, we’re all in this together, and it’s so important to make your daily grind a little bit better, starting with the guy or girl in the cube next to you.

What do you do to be a good co-worker at your job?

Read More: Workplace Advice: 4 Tips on How to NOT “Act Like a Millennial”

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