Don’t let bad co-workers wreck your dream job

Don’t let bad co-workers wreck your dream job

by Eunice Chua 04 Feb 2020

So you’re working the job of your dreams and bringing passion to your workplace every day. Nothing could be better… except being able to get rid of a certain nasty co-worker (or two). It’s nearly impossible to get along with everyone at work, but here’s how you can make it work without anyone having to lose their jobs in the process!


Talk it out

The best-case scenario is one where your work enemy becomes a work friend, and you can try to make this work by talking it out properly. Ask that annoying co-worker out for a meal to have an honest one-on-one conversation. This may feel a little unsettling, which is normal because there's always the chance that it doesn't turn out the way you want it to. However, choosing the right things to say can go a long way though – start the conservation by discussing your own flaws first. Ask your co-worker how they feel about working with you, and then slowly turn the conservation to discuss what you don’t like about them (as tactfully as possible). Your co-worker may just appreciate the honesty!


Create space

Finding it hard to agree with their working style? Set boundaries between yourself and this co-worker by making use of anything you can, such as creating online documents on a blockchain to update and share your progress so that overbearing colleagues won’t feel the need to stand over your shoulder and micromanage you all the time.


Minimise time spent together

Even if you’re able to come to some form of compromise, five days a week of tolerating a co-worker’s annoying traits can still be a bit too much for some people. Try reducing the time you spend with this colleague by requesting for a different work schedule that will reduce the time you spend together. Another possible idea is to request to work from home occasionally – even if it’s just one day a week, not being in the direct presence of a co-worker you dislike can be a real game-changer.


At the core of these solutions, the key is about making micro-adjustments to co-exist with your work environment in peace. This doesn’t mean you have to force yourself to be BFFs with your nemesis and spend time together. Simply being friendly acquaintances, staying professional and making the occasional small talk is a huge victory, and one that’s feasible enough to work towards!