New in the Office? 5 Actionable Ways to Gain Respect of Co-Workers

Contributed by Audrey Robinson

Starting a new job is always a little daunting. You wonder whether you will like your new office, whether you’ll learn to do the job quickly and whether you’ll get along with your co-workers.

The latter point can be a place where new hires often go wrong. They want to be best buddies with their colleagues from the get go, not realising that gaining their respect is of much greater importance.

If you’re new in the office, here are five actionable ways to gain the respect of your co-workers:

Ask Questions

Whilst you don’t want to be constantly badgering your colleagues with first day questions, don’t be afraid to speak up when you need help. Someone who soldiers on in silence and gets things wrong in the process is a liability. Ask questions when you’re unsure about what you’re supposed to be doing. Co-workers will have more respect for your honesty and straightforwardness than they’ll have for your mistakes.

Be Assertive Without Being Pushy

When you’re new in an office you don’t want to be the quiet wallflower who goes unnoticed. But neither do you want to be the loudmouth who distracts everyone from their work and causes a stir. Quiet confidence is the best approach to those early days. Determine how much everyone else in the office is talking and try to follow suit. But don’t be afraid to be assertive in situations when it’s required. Talking and acting with confidence is a big first step in earning respect.  

Remember that Making Friends Isn’t A Priority

Some new hires like to bring cakes or candy during their first week of work. It’s an innocent effort to make friends but it can come across as over-eager. Co-workers don’t really care about the sweet treats you give them. They’re much more likely to notice your work ethic and how easy you are to work with. Treat your co-workers with professional respect to begin with and later move towards building friendships.

Listen First

During your first days and weeks in a new office, you need to listen more than you speak. Listening can help you learn about the company culture. It will help you discover the dynamics of your team. And it will help you to understand where operational improvements can be made. This will all stand you in good stead as the weeks go on. You’re much less likely to make a poorly judged joke or comment. Or get embroiled in office drama. And you’ll be better informed to say where you think changes are necessary. Jumping in with both feet before you know the lie of the land is a big mistake.

Give it Your All

The best way to earn the respect of your co-workers is by consistently producing excellent quality work. That means meeting deadlines, surpassing the expectations of your clients and making the team as a whole look good. Aim to support your team rather than letting them carry you. Be positive and stay motivated. And look for areas where you can make a big impact. Hard work and a good success rate is the secret to gaining the admiration and backing of your colleagues.


It takes a little time and sustained effort to gain the respect of your co-workers when you’re new to a role. Be confident without being pushy. Ask questions but remember to listen. And do your absolute utmost to meet your targets and your deadlines. You’ll soon have colleagues who respect you and who you may even count amongst your friends.


About the author:

Audrey Robinson is a Assistant Manager and Content Expert, currently supporting Datastical – an online knowledge database. As an absolute self-improvement literature, Audrey might usually be found on Youtube, listening to motivational speeches or with yet another self-growth book in her hands. You can reach out to her on her Twitter: @AudreyyRobinson.


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