How to Maintain Strong Relationships With Your Colleagues

Relationships with colleagues are interesting. Sometimes they're work friends, other times they become friends outside of work, or they may just be people you work with. Different stages of your life and career will likely have an impact on how these relationships function and evolve/p>

It's not surprising that research shows social connections at work have a positive impact on productivity, as well as people's willingness to stay at a company. Getting along and being friends with your colleagues is good for you and the business.


Good manners pay dividends and employing exemplary personal skills in terms of saying please and thank you, as well as just taking the time to truly listen and ask how people really are helps to develop meaningful relationships and, goes a long way towards establishing yourself as a person with values and kindness.

Here are a few tips on how to practise courtesy:

  • Don't forget your Ps and Qs
  • Look and behave as if you're happy to be there
  • Treat everyone with kindness and respect - from the CEO to the cleaner
  • Treat the office like you would your home (maybe better). If you finish the last tea bag, tell someone, and don't leave smelly food out
  • Keep your desk tidy, especially if you share it
  • Try and stay out of the gossip trap

Tweeting and Engaging on Social

While social media can be a great networking tool, it can also be a career killer, or, at the very least, make things really awkward. Again, this seems obvious, but so many people get caught tweeting or posting things that land them in hot water. Consider how you'd prefer to connect with your colleagues on social media platforms. For example, you may be comfortable to connect on LinkedIn or Facebook, but perhaps you'd prefer to keep your Instagram or TikTok account more private and separate from your work life. And secondly, remember that everything you post has the potential of being seen, therefore, If you don't want someone to read it, don't post it.

Prepare for the Work Return

A lot can change when you're away for a while. Be prepared for personnel changes and shifts in the office. Your own job may have changed together with the people you eat lunch with. Be sure to use your 'keeping in touch days' (KiT) so it's not a total culture shock when you go back to work.

If you feel comfortable doing so, it's a lovely idea to introduce your baby to your colleagues so they can meet your new addition before your return. This will more easily enable you to strike up a conversation about your baby in the knowledge that they've seen and met them.

Part-time Plaudits

The biggest change may be if you return to work part time. Most people shouldn't have a problem with it, as they should also be aware that with part-time-hours come part-time salaries.

Let's face it. Some fellow workers may resent those they perceive as not working as hard as they are. The best way to keep your work relationships positive is to show them that part-time doesn't mean part-enthused, or part-motivated or part-working when you are there. Senior leadership should also lead by example and champion the variety of workers and contracts staff are on and praise equally.

Be Social When Possible

Spending time with your colleagues outside the office can be a great way of developing relationships, getting to know one another and having fun. It's not possible to make every invitation but if you can, then you will feel the positive benefits and remember to sometimes be the one to suggest a lunch, coffee or drink.

Don't Apologise

Every employee has a reason to leave either on time, just before or on the bell. Setting the boundaries for what is right for you is personal. It's good manners to communicate if you are going to be late or must leave early for an appointment but you shouldn't need to apologise for in fact leaving on time, particularly if the culture lends itself to longer working hours. Be courageous in your values and respect will follow.