Although there are certainly attributes people would like to see their coworkers exhibit, there are only certain things we can honestly expect from each other. Clearly, we all have personal expectations, which we want coworkers to measure up to, yet the only qualities they must share are those that guarantee their job is done to employer specifications. Beyond these attributes, all other positive qualities are a bonus. On the other hand, it is necessary to understand what we can or cannot honestly expect from our coworkers to ensure we get what we deserve.
A strong work ethic is one quality that all employees should share, but there is no clear definition of this concept. Each and every position plays a unique role in a firm, thereby giving employees their own responsibilities. As such, coworkers should expect each other to complete their responsibilities without the constant oversight of a supervisor. If these responsibilities extend beyond everyday tasks, it is the responsibility of a supervisor to clarify this aspect and the job of the coworker to step up to the plate when necessary.
Individuals have their own attributes and personalities, thus some people are easier to work with than others. Unfortunately, it is not reasonable to expect our coworkers to change their individual characteristics based on what we prefer. On the other hand, the necessity to communicate with coworkers, supervisors, and patrons does give us the right to demand personal quirks not interfere in business operations. If employees cannot communicate their needs or understand the needs of others, they cannot be effective workers.
Meanwhile, an unfriendly, cold shoulder may not be the best candidate for a friend, yet this does not mean an individual is a poor worker. Only when sarcasm or a lack of engagement causes problems for business operations can coworkers expect a sunnier disposition. Certainly, it would be nice to develop relationships with coworkers and know someone can be trusted to support us when in need, but this is not a necessary part of employment.
Coworkers are coworkers while friends are friends. Work relationships can make the work environment far more palatable and improve business operations, yet we can only expect so much from coworkers. There are qualities, which are absolutely necessary for success in the business world, but our expectations should not lead us to believe all positive attributes are essential. We get what we get and not necessarily what we want when it comes to coworkers, so it is best to peacefully work with those around us, unless a serious issue arises.