Research conducted by the virtual office provider Regus has found that 49 per cent of workers in large companies don’t actually like their colleagues. This may not come as a surprise to some who have worked in a hostile environment, but that there is such a stark difference between working in a small company and a large one, is quite educational.  The percentage of those who work at small companies and dislike their coworkers was much lower, at just 16%.

The reasons given for not liking coworkers are below:

  • Laziness
  • Inability at their job
  • Controlling

Looking at the research in a little more detail, it became clear that poor work performance was almost always the issue with regards to coworkers not getting along.  In a small company one would know their coworkers far better, and be more inclined to help them out if they were having issues with their work. Or even just know why those issues exist, such as factors external to their work that might be distracting them.

In a larger company, that personal connection is almost impossible to maintain with every person who works there, so all that one would know about the situation is that the work is not getting gone, and with no backstory to that, it would then become easy to dislike the person who is underperforming.

Regus Australia and New Zealand CEO Paul Migliorini was quoted as saying:

“In today’s busy workplace, we often forget the value of getting to know people and building relationships through collaboration.”

“You might find that getting to know that, or working with them to overcome a specific challenge will help you turn around the situation. For employers, it’s important to structure your workplace to foster collaboration and positive interactions between employees.”

The one thing the research does show very clearly though, is that personal connections are still of huge importance in the workplace, no matter how large or small the company. Take the time to make sure your employees are interacting in a beneficial way with each other, possibly with team building activities such as a treasure hunt or even just a night of bowling.

We spent a substantial portion of our time each week at work, so it pays to put the effort in and make work a more enjoyable place to be.