Integrating with your new colleagues - how to get on with your new work colleagues
When you are new to a job, perhaps the most difficult aspect is not the work itself, but in fact getting along with and integrating well with your new work colleagues. There may not necessarily be any fault on your behalf, but in most cases you won't be welcomed with opening arms like a long-lost member of the family.
Being accepted and labelled as "another member of the team" will take time and won't happen over night. You have to earn their respect and let them see that you are fair, friendly and a good worker.
Even though you may not get on with everyone like a house on fire, it is important that you act professionally at all times and are able to maintain a good working relationship with those around you (even if you secretly can't stand one or two of them).
Below we offer advice and tips on how to make a good first impression with your new work colleagues and how to integrate well and quickly become "one of the gang".
Learn colleague's names
Your new colleagues will definitely respond to you in a friendlier fashion if you learn their names as quickly as possible. Addressing someone by their first name rather than "er, excuse me" shows that you have made the effort and that you do want to get to know them. If you know that you easily forget people's names, draw up a plan of the office and record colleagues' names on it.
Be professional at all times. This is very important, especially if you are new to a company, as first impressions will always stick. It is vital that you get off on the right foot with everyone in your office and that they have nothing bad to say about you. If anyone has a criticism about you, do not react badly just because they do, and try to deal with it as quickly and quietly as possible.
Although you may find settling in tough, try to be as positive as possible at all times. If you do need to complain about something, be tactful and have a quiet word with your boss. Do not go round moaning to all and sundry, as you will appear negative and weak, and especially do not criticise others and how they do things.
Do not gossip
Working in an office can sometimes feel like being part of a soap opera. You've got office politics, talking behind other's backs, affairs, gossip and occasionally the feeling that you want to murder someone (and that's in a good week). Often cliques form that always stick together and do not socialise with the other groups. It is good to pay attention to what is going on but do not get involved in office politics. You do not want to alienate others or be seen to be untrustworthy or false. Do not talk badly about other colleagues in order to gain favour with one group, even though it may feel as if you are integrating and making friends.
Use your time well
Your co-workers may be extremely busy during working hours but may use their lunchtime to relax and take a break. If they don't invite you, which is probably unlikely, ask if you can join them for lunch and use this time to get to know them better. Don't talk about yourself all the time, but make sure that you ask about them and their interests. Don't bombard them with questions though, just take your time in getting to know them.
Out with the old, in with the new
Although it is great to keep in touch with old work colleagues from your previous job, it is not a good idea to spend more time with them than with your new colleagues.
Additionally, you must realise that every office has their own methods of doing things, so your new colleagues won't take kindly to comments such as "we used to do it like this in our old office" or any kind of criticism of the way that they work. You will have time much later on to put your ideas or suggestions forward.
When you first join a company, try not to do, wear or say anything that will draw negative attention to yourself. Stick to their dress code, only go out and smoke if everyone else does, don't take personal phone calls if this is frowned upon and generally try to conform to the office rules and culture as much as possible. This also applies to when you socialise outside of office hours.
This is probably one of the most important aspects. You must be seen to be hardworking, efficient, competent and a valued member of the team. Co-workers won't take to you if you are a slacker, take advantage of your position or are incompetent.
Try to offer to help others as much as possible and volunteer to do any extra projects or tasks.
Many people do not like change and so when one member of staff leaves and another is brought in they will need time to adjust. The amount of time will vary from office to office, however if you follow the above advice, you should integrate and fit into your new surroundings in no time.