The chit-chat among your cubicle neighbours has more influence on your satisfaction at work than you may think: it creates a sense of belonging, and a colleague support system will help fuel your passion for your job, leaving you less likely to burn out or quit.
From sassy to sweet, we’ve narrowed down 8 types of friends in the office that can have a positive impact on your career and overall work productivity.
The Social Butterfly
Often referred to as the office gossip, you can always catch them in the lunchroom with a coffee mug and the latest scoop. Extroverted and talkative, they have the wit and charm that can coax anyone into conversation or confession.
This underground ‘gossip’ can be advantageous in many ways if you take note about developing information that has to do with your team or department, but try to avoid the shallow, personal office drama
The Spiritual Guru
Their cubicle is covered in positive affirmation pictures, they have a Pilates ball to build core strength, and a tiny Buddha for good luck. They constantly lift your spirit with motivating mantras when you’re crushed under the weight of deadlines and are always available to give you a much-needed pep talk.
You’ve never met a more optimistic person and they are a constant reminder that there is more to life than stressing out over a project. They keep your privilege in check and sometimes, their confidence boost is all you need to rock that presentation. Maybe you will sign up to that yoga retreat with them next weekend.
The Blunt Realist
They are the types to draw a smiley cartoon cactus on the office whiteboard with a blurb that says ‘Hug Me.’ You’ll ask how they’re doing out of polite habit, and their answer is always some sort of unintelligible complaint, or an indifferent shrug. You can ask them anything as they aren’t afraid to give you the hard truth without any sprinkle of sugar.
It’s very useful to have their set of eyes go over the document or presentation you just created, because they will point out flaws and shortcomings with ease, stimulating your critical thinking skills to improve your project. However, try to avoid spending too much time under the same rain cloud with them, because sometimes the storm might end up following you back to your desk.
They are the ones you turn to for help, for guidance, or when you need honest feedback or a reminder to stay focused. You look up to them, and you work hard to emulate their successes. They are typically in a higher position or have more seniority than you, boast a wealth of knowledge in the industry, and are rooting for their friends to succeed by offering advice and perspective.
Your mentor is a champion for nurturing your career and confidence, but don’t take advantage of their kindness – if they are feeling used, they surely won’t hesitate to rain check the rest of your proposed daily coffee dates.
The By-the-Book Bro
They are your star-studded, hardworking Louis Litt. They practically wrote the workplace rules considering how well they follow them. Always on time, they would only laugh through their stuffed-up nose and pause to blow in their hanky if you’d ever suggest taking a day off to rest. They are intelligent and always willing to take on more work to get ahead. They’re the last to leave and first to show up in the morning.
The By-the-Book Bro doesn’t really have time for ‘colleagues,’ but when you have a chance to talk, you will benefit from their invaluable insight: you can observe what an ideal employee is, and set your own goals and improvements for your own career advancement.
The Tech Wizard
Your computer is blue screening and you need to submit that assignment by noon, so you call your Tech Wizard friend who never disappoints and shows up armed with IT jargon and a quick solution. They excel at all things computer, and their magical algorithms that produce software sorcery may have you secretly thinking of hacking into an ex’s Facebook account. Alas, no – let’s keep things professional.
This person may sometimes make you feel silly (“Did you try restarting it? Unplugging it and re-plugging it?”); however it’s worth the slack for all those times they’ve saved your technologically-challenged behind big time.
They can always make you laugh or at least crack a smile even before you’ve had your Monday morning coffee. Their creatively concocted puns can fill the office with snorting laughter, and their wit allows you to giggle off any stress you’re experiencing at work, calming you down and getting you ready to dive right back into it. Keep this person close for cheering up, but make sure that when it’s time to get serious they can be too!
She always comes to work with a bottomless purse packed for the apocalypse – anything you forget, she has two extra. She’s a great emotional support, and has the best stories and wisdom from ‘back when she was your age’.
She sometimes brings you leftovers from her epic Sunday dinner, and during your lunch dates, does not hesitate to spittle-wipe that spec of food from your face with her moistened finger.
Of course, these stereotypes are all exaggerations of your many-layered, multi-faceted co-workers. Still, we hope that this article was good for a laugh, and you may even recognize a kernel of your favourite colleague’s personality in one of these types! Not to mention yourself…