HR · 9 June 2016

What makes the perfect colleague? UK workers reveal their top traits

perfect co-worker
Delivering results was considered the most desirable attribute of the perfect colleague

Optimism, empathy and trustworthiness are amongst the most important qualities British workers want from their colleagues, according to the results of a recent survey.

The ideal co-worker should be able to deliver results and meet deadlines, as well as be a close confidante with a warm disposition that helps boost morale in their team.

Conducted by One4All Rewards’ Spotlight Awards, the survey of over 2,000 British adults attempted to construct a picture of the UK’s “perfect colleague”.

The capacity to deliver results at work was considered the most important attribute of all, whilst nearly a third of respondents said that being optimistic and having the enthusiasm to keep their team in high spirits was just as valuable.

As many as 30 per cent of workers wanted their perfect colleague to be trustworthy enough to keep their secrets and listen to their worries. The ideal co-worker would also be able to display initiative and be knowledgeable about their job.

Almost a quarter of employees believed that being organised was the key trait of their dream co-worker, whilst 18 per cent wished for an empathetic workmate that would be a good shoulder to cry on.

Workers that show off about staying late and putting in overtime at work should think again, as the survey results showed that this type of dedication ranked low on most people’s list of priorities.

People’s more dominant characteristics, like being competitive and showing leadership, were also considered unpopular, with just four per cent and 13 per cent of respondents considering these traits to be important in colleagues respectively.

Managing director at One4All Rewards – a company which provides small business owners the chance to offer their employees various benefit schemes – Declan Byrne, said that the survey provided useful insight into what traits workers consider make for top recruits.

Byrne said: “British workers really are quite focussed – they rated effectiveness the number one most important trait in their ideal colleague, but it’s not all about results. People also hugely value having colleagues who can act as a bit of a friend – keeping everyone’s spirits up, as well as sharing secrets and worries.”

While the personalities of co-workers is undoubtedly important for making sure the employees of small businesses work well together, recent figures suggest that more and more British workers consider themselves more productive when working from home.

As many as 50 per cent of working adults in the UK feel they work better at home, according to The Economist Intelligence Group.

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Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.


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