Four types of coworkers you need – and one you absolutely don’t

Every team needs a bestie, a mentor, a HR friend and a gatekeeper. It most certainly does not need a bully. While remote working can make identifying those people tricky, there are ways around it.

Read a recent article on the subject on or take a quick stroll through the key points below:

The bestie

Everybody needs a bestie to help them through the difficult days at work. That person offers an open ear and gives you honest feedback when you need it. In a remote environment, it can be hard to find yourself a bestie. Look out for likely candidates at your next team Zoom meeting and follow up on an individual basis afterwards. You may even discover that one of your colleagues lives nearby and could be a great mid-morning coffee buddy going forwards.

The mentor

When you’re in unfamiliar territory, it’s always good to be able to ask for advice from someone who knows the ropes. If you don’t have a mentor yet, seek out someone you admire and who you think you can learn from. Even if you’ve only met that person virtually, ask them for a one-on-one meeting on a specific topic. If their input is helpful, take the plunge and ask them to be your mentor. Most people will be flattered to be asked and such requests are rarely met with a ‘no.’

The HR friend

While many areas of HR are confidential, there are others where informal sneak previews are perfectly acceptable. To get the inside track on upcoming job openings or organisational changes, it’s always good to have a buddy in HR. When you’re a newbie in a remote environment, consider your onboarding as an opportunity to make such a connection. Schedule regular follow-up meetings to check in with your HR contact and over time you will benefit from many valuable insights.

The gatekeeper

It’s often the receptionist who acts as gatekeeper to the CEO and other C-suite executives, particularly in SMEs. This person has sway over who gets face-to-face time with senior members of staff. Make a point of connecting with these key players in a natural way, earning your role as a trustworthy, pleasant colleague and someone they want to help.

The bully

Sadly, most of us have had a bully in our ambit at some point in our career. Avoid engaging with that person beyond what’s strictly necessary to be polite and professional. If they seem to find ways of bullying you anyway, address it with them. Maybe they aren’t aware of the damaging effects of their behaviour. And if their bullying behaviour continues, talk to HR. A three-way formal discussion involving HR can provide a clear pathway to a successful resolution, namely, how and when you should interact going forwards.

And there we have it – four types of colleagues you should actively seek out, and one you should do everything within your power to avoid. If you feel your company doesn’t offer the support you need in this or any other regard, please give us a call. Your team of trusted, expert recruitment consultants at ABL is here to help. We will brainstorm the options together, help you plan your next career move and source fantastic job opportunities. And then we’ll help you ace the interview. Please get in touch!