How to be a Co-Worker That People Actually Want to Work With


As much as I would love to be on a permanent vacation on a tropical island with a spicy margarita in hand and a stack of books, it’s a dream, not reality, and it wouldn’t help me pay my mortgage. I do, however, consider myself lucky because I actually look forward to coming to work every day simply because I enjoy spending time with my co-workers. Even on the busiest, most stressful days, I know that they’ll have my back and make me laugh.

I interviewed a bunch of my co-workers and we came up with a list of the top tips that make you an employee that people actually want to work with.

Set non-negotiables

These are the things in your routine that you do not budge on no matter what. A list of non-negotiables helps set clear expectations with the people you surround yourself with and also helps you set a healthy work-life balance. Having a healthy balance between working hours and your personal life allows you to relax and build back up your energy, creativity, and stamina to give your working hours 100 percent of your attention. A non-negotiable could be exercising 30 minutes a day, not answering emails after 7 pm, or taking a 20-minute break each day for a walk.

Learn to say no

It’s tough, but saying no is actually a good thing when it comes to your career. Saying yes to everything will only end up hurting you in the long run. You will eventually be over-extending yourself, and setting yourself up for failure. When you spread yourself too thin, you cannot give your best effort to everything. Learning to say no in a professional manner allows you to pick and choose what you can work on collectively while still being able to have the desired output that makes you proud and keeps your boss happy.

Create your own Nicole’s Apothecary

Whether we are in the office or out on the road for one of our events such as Party People or EventCamp, my co-workers have become so accustomed to me always having exactly what they need stuffed in my Mary Poppins-like purse that they often refer to it as Nicole’s Apothecary. Items that I always have on hand to tackle any situation include:

  • Advil and Advil Migraine
  • Tiger Balm
  • Anxiety Ease CBD and Migraine CBD from Humble
  • Roots Medicinals and CBD Oil from HillView Wellness
  • Deodorant
  • Gum
  • Perfume
  • Several lip glosses
  • At least three types of hand lotion
  • Phone charger and backup phone battery
  • Snacks
  • Water
  • Nail file
  • Hair elastics

COVID edition:

  • Mask
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Baby wipes
  • Extra mask for that one co-worker who always forgets theirs

Join a hierarchy-free team

The marketing team has several monthly and yearly goals as well as key performance indicators (KPIs) that we are focused on hitting, but at the end of the day, we all have one goal: To help as many restaurants, hotels, and unique venues do their jobs the best that they can and increase their revenue. Having one clear mission on what Tripleseat is set out to achieve eliminates the traditional hierarchy found in most corporations and this is the most evident on our team. We all focus on getting the task at hand completed versus focusing on who is in command or whose job it is. The 10 of us work as a family and step in and do what needs to be done whether it’s in our job description or not. We all see our work as a team collaborative effort of pass or fail. This teamwork naturally creates a supportive, judgment-free zone where we help and educate each other to grow as a team. And we have passed with flying colors, month after month, year after year!

Work hard, party hard

You can often find Tripleseat employees spending time together after hours and on weekends since we genuinely enjoy each other’s company. Being someone who likes to party is not a prerequisite to being hired here, but it does make things more fun. Spending time together outside of work allows us to bond to create that family sense of support. Being friends with your co-workers makes us all active listeners who can handle disagreements respectively; we are the Tripleseat family and we may not always agree on which route to execute a specific task, but we’ve got each other’s back no matter what.

COVID Tip: Connect with others

Working from home for the last several months during quarantine has been challenging even for us introverts; especially if you have young children at home. We are simply not used to such limited contact with others, rules about when and where we can visit, or how to interact in the world.

To combat loneliness and fatigue, schedule weekly or bi-weekly team happy hours where you can talk about non-work stuff, play games, or discuss a book or show that everyone is watching. Hang out with your co-workers virtually to try and bring some sense of normalcy to your week. Check in with your coworkers more frequently than you used to. Turn on video calls when you can. We may not be able to sit in the same room right now, but seeing each other live through our phones or computers, and being able to see real emotions and body language is mentally beneficial.

Be passionate

My first featured article in Seated was in the Spring 2019 edition and I wrote about becoming an email marketing pro. In my closing paragraph, my final thought was “‘have fun and love what you do,” and that rings just as true when it comes to being a great co-worker. Come to work every day with a passion for your job. Passion feeds creativity, dedication, and grit. When others see how passionate you are about the company and about your work, it ignites passion in others. By not being shy about how much you love what you do, it not only makes you a better employee, but it pushes others to step up and be just as great. It also allows you to do what’s best for the organization and each other.

If I had to pick only one piece of advice for you to take away from this article it would be to love what you do. Passion for your craft and output is the foundation for being a great coworker and employee that all of the other qualities and tips I shared can build upon. If you don’t enjoy what you spend your time on, it doesn’t matter how large your Mary Poppins purse is or how many non-negotiables you set, passion is the key to setting yourself up to the best co-worker that everyone wants to have on their team.

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the Fall 2020 Issue of Seated magazine.