Stress Bothering You? Develop Better Relations With Colleagues At Work

  • 5 Mins Read
  • Wellbeing
  • Written by: Dr. Jatin Bhide

Most of us spend a majority of our time working or thinking about work. Some people are so into it that they think about their work during grocery shopping, family dinners, or even in their dreams! Be it at an office or working from home, we have to maintain close contact with our coworkers all the time.

This means most of our day is spent with them, either in person or on calls. Hence the equation we share with our colleagues is very crucial for our mental well-being. Not just this, it can also impact our health and immunity. Read on to know how work relations can impact your immunity.

Positivity is infectious

Having friends at the workplace can be a blessing in disguise. As we have established, we spend most of our time in the day at work. So the rapport we share with them becomes an important part of our social circle. Studies suggest that having great relationships with your colleagues can boost your immunity. This can be done during a chat over lunch or a shared cab ride back home.

Always be happy to help

Work can get strenuous sometimes. The job strain can be too much for one person to handle occasionally. It can help if someone lends you a hand during this difficult time. Having enough social support can buffer the harmful effects of stress whereas inadequate support cannot. Help someone out if you can, without expecting anything in return. Who knows, someone else can look out for you in the same way too!

Scared of losing your daily bread

Some managers suggest to their employees that they will lose out on their job if they do not meet certain targets or deadlines. They think of this as an incentivising tactic, but in fact, it can stress out their employees. Studies have shown that job insecurity can lead to a reduced amount of  Natural Killer Cells in our body, which are immune cells attacking microbes. So, instead of improving the output,  the team performance can take a U-turn if it makes them sick. Hence, managers should avoid using this approach with their employees.

A bitter pill to swallow

As much as we strive to be professional, quarrels at work happen, and that’s a fact. Continuing tension and bitterness between colleagues not only makes it difficult for the team to function well but also takes a toll on the immunity. Various chemicals like cytokines, Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF), and interleukins (and other odd words) can reduce the immune response and cause inflammation. This is why you need to keep away from work quarrels and sort out any negativity between you and a colleague. So what are you waiting for? Call them now!

These are the effects of work relationships on our immune system. Make sure you have a healthy working relationship and at least a few friends at work. After all, the workplace is your home outside your home.

    1. Boscolo P, et al. Work stress and innate immune response. Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2011;24(1 Suppl):51S-54S.
    2. Heaphy ED, et al. Positive social interactions and the human body at work: Linking organizations and physiology. Acad Manage Rev. 2008;33(1):137-62.
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