What Traits Do We Most Like in Our Colleagues?


Office dynamics have always been a tricky subject. Sometimes they can run smoothly, but on other occasions, personalities can jar. With a national return to the office continuing apace, it’s important for the workforce to re-engage with face-to-face co-working. Signage specialists instantprint recently published the results of a survey in which they polled 2,000 UK office employees regarding their opinions on desirable and undesirable traits in the workplace. Here are some of the characteristics that were deemed the most sought-after.

1. Patience

Of the top 10 desirable traits in a colleague, patience topped the list, with 46% of respondents naming that virtue as something they wanted to see in their fellow workmates. Patience is extremely valuable in a team environment, especially with close collaboration on tasks. Things can go wrong and roadblocks can be encountered – and without an understanding of potential delays, projects can get fraught. Patient colleagues are more willing to work with instability and more likely to be flexible, ensuring the completion of work without undue stress.

2. Communication

Patience may have been top of the list, but good communication was an extremely close second, with 45% agreeing it was a desirable trait to look for in a colleague. Communication is key in any business, as there are many moving parts to its successful operation. Regular contact within your department is important enough, to understand each other’s progress and workloads, but can be even more crucial with regard to separate silos. Colleagues with poor communication can fail to disclose important information when necessary, stymying progress and limiting growth.

3. Thoughtfulness

One-in-three respondents reported caring personalities as a boon in the workplace – and 38% of women said they favored considerate co-workers. A business’ productivity is only one part of the equation; the morale of its staff is crucial and a positive work environment, encouraging the long-term retention of employees, is a significant part of any success. Considerate people make all the difference in creating a welcoming and comfortable work environment, in which team members can make mistakes without fear of harsh reprisal – improving morale in the process.

4. Leadership

Leadership was an intriguing entry into the shortlist of desirable workplace traits, as 32% of respondents said they wanted that from their colleagues while 11% of men admitted they would find it difficult to work with someone who had strong skills in that area. It can be a divisive trait, as when it is executed poorly it can have a detrimental effect on the workplace as a whole. Good leadership, however, can make all the difference – whether that be through delegating tasks wisely or motivating a team effectively.


Linda Carter