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Top 7 Tips to Delight Your Co-Workers
By Mary J. Nestor
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Offices are like mini-families. Co-workers spend up to 11 hours a day in close proximity, sharing the same office space, facilities, break rooms, refrigerators, 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 the top 7 tips to make working with co-workers a delightful experience and boost job satisfaction.
- Fill it up. If you've used the last piece of paper in the shared copier or printer, fill it back up. Even if it means going to the supply room to get another ream of paper. And while you're there, get two, so there will be an extra one "just in case".
- Make some more. After you've drained the coffee pot into your cup, take a minute to make another pot for the next person. Fill up the carafe, wipe up the spills... just like it was your own kitchen. In a way, it is.
- Set it back. 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 normal copying. Setting equipment back to the "normal" settings after making adjustments allows everyone to start from square one and prevents time-consuming readjustments and rework.
- Leave it at home. 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 at the restaurant, but not everyone will appreciate the aroma as it lingers for the rest of the afternoon.
- Throw it away. Be responsible for your leftover lunches, snacks, water bottles, condiments, soda cans, etc, that jam up the communal refrigerator. The meatloaf sandwich you didn't finish last week doesn't get tastier with time. Before your leftovers sprout green fuzz, toss them. And, if those slimy leftovers happen to leak, clean it up.
- Stay in touch. Set up a schedule to read and respond to your e-mail several times each day. The same goes for voice mail, faxes and pages. All these communication enhancements are effective only if managed well, and that means reading, listening, and responding. Avoid overloading the office intranet with junk e-mail, jokes, etc., especially with cartoons or other graphics which take a lot of time to download.
- "Work the Day." Show your co-workers that you value their time and contribution by making the most of yours. Instead of cruising the office, catching up on what everyone did last night or 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. There is great satisfaction in looking back on a day filled with completed projects, answered questions, satisfied customers and appreciative co-workers.
Mary J. Nestor, is a national consultant, speaker, seminar leader, and writer on quality, performance improvement, customer service, and quality of worklife. Founder and President of MJN Consulting, Hilton Head Island, SC. (800) 725-1147
Article Submitted On: October 08, 1999