Finding friendship in a colleague can enhance your experience at work, especially during stressful moments. Sometimes, you just need one person to lean on and it’ll transform your entire day.
It’s not surprising then, that having nice colleagues is the top reason for people saying their organisation is a good place to work, according to new research by HR software provider Ciphr. Good pay and job security completed the top three answers.
It doesn’t cost to be kind and we’re grateful for the times our colleagues have gone out of their way to support us. So inspired by the research, we asked readers to share the kindest things colleagues have done for them.
From kindness, to marriage.
“Working in a bookshop on one of the busiest days over Christmas, I went in the cupboard to have a little cry after being screamed at by a customer,” says Cathie Addison-Swan, 25, who’s now a journalist and based in Whitley Bay.
“My new colleague, who I’d barely spoken to at the time, followed me in to give me a hug and a pep talk. We’re now married!”
They support my mental health
“I took a job at a small, local restaurant about three years ago and worked with a group of really lovely, genuine people,” says Georga Hughes, who is a 26-year old writer from Chester.
“I’d been struggling with my mental health and had never felt like I could talk to people about this before. But my co-workers were so understanding and gave me the opportunity to talk freely about mental health for the first time and it’s changed my life for good.
“Even when customers were rude and awful, I absolutely loved working with them. We’re still a close group of friends and meet up all the time.”
My team would always have lunch with me
*Sam who is a 25-year old finance analyst from Manchester, says his colleagues would never let him have lunch on his own, showing it’s the little things that can make the biggest difference.
“Because I was the youngest, everyone treated me like their little brother, gave me inside tips on how to survive the rat race and other things,” he says.
My colleagues give me the best gifts
“My colleagues always give me nice presents near my birthday,” Femi Coker, a 28-year old Operations Executive from London, says.
“In 2018 one of my colleagues asked me what my favourite anime character was and what I like to do in my spare time. I said ‘Luffy’ and ‘photography’.
“After my annual leave the whole office swarmed my desk with presents such as a pop animation figure of Luffy and a Go Pro-like camera with camera bag.”
She helped when I was overwhelmed
Isabella Silvers, who is a 30-year old journalist from London, was going through a really tough time a few years ago. ”I was dealing with issues in my personal life and situations at work, and I was incredibly anxious,” she says.
“While some colleagues criticised my behaviour, one saw that I needed help and support. She would take me aside when she could see I was stressed and encourage me to breathe through my tears when I was overwhelmed.
“That meant so much to me, and helped me get through that period of my life.”
My colleague helped me through my miscarriage
Charlotte Goss, a 30-year-old from York who runs a virtual support business, was supported by colleague when she had a miscarriage last year.
“I confided in one of my team members and not only did they give me a listening ear over Zoom, I had several WhatsApp voice note check-ins over the following weeks. Even a little ‘thinking of you’ gift in the post,” she says.
“She didn’t have to do this. I know how difficult it is to talk about baby loss, but she really went over and above the ‘I’m so sorry to hear that.’
“I don’t have the ‘leave your problems at the door’ attitude anymore and I like to think her kindness has changed the way I show up as a listening ear to my friends, colleagues and clients. She showed me kindness really is key.”