Offices are like minifamilies. Co-workers spend up to 11 hours a day in close proximity, sharing the same office space, facilities, break rooms, refrigerators, and coffee pots. Everyone shares responsibility for making the company work, run smoothly and stay profitable. They arrive together, take breaks together, eat lunch together, meet to solve problems together and finally, at the end of the day, head off to their “real” homes. All this closeness and familiarity can wear thin at times, just like in real families. Here are some tips to make working with co-workers a delightful experience and boost job satisfaction.
• If you’ve used the last piece of paper in the copier or printer, fill it back up.
• After you’ve drained the coffee pot, make another pot for the next person.
• After completing the copy job for 125 sets of 1.25X enlargements, double-sided, stapled in the left-hand corner, reset the copy machine to the “normal” settings.
• Resist the urge to bring the leftover fried catfish from last night’s dinner and heat it up in the lunchroom’s microwave. It may have smelled great last night, but not everyone will appreciate the aroma for the rest of the afternoon.
• Set up a schedule to read and respond to your e-mail, voice mails and faxes several times each day. Avoid overloading the office intranet with junk e-mail and jokes as well as cartoons or graphics that take a lot of time to download.
• Show your co-workers that you value their time and contribution by making the most of yours. Instead of cruising the office or catching up on the latest office gossip, get busy on your piece of the group project, tomorrow’s team meeting or the stack of work in your in-box.