How Do I Deal with Jealous Coworkers?
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How Do I Deal with Jealous Coworkers?

We posed this tricky question to three career experts. Here's what they said.

You've finally gotten the perfect schedule: Maybe you work from home two days a week, or perhaps you've gone part-time. But now you've got another problem: colleagues who seem jealous of your arrangement. What's the best way to deal?

Richard Wessler, PhD, professor of psychology at Pace University, in Pleasantville, New York: "Show that you're a team player and try to be helpful to your colleagues so that they recognize your contribution and won't worry so much about your hours. If you're occasionally needed at the office when you're not scheduled to work, for example, make yourself available."

Linda Talley, author of Business Finesse: Dealing with Sticky Situations in the Workplace (Leadership U. Press, 1998): "Good, open communication is usually the best way to ease any tensions at work. Make sure your colleagues know the reason you work the schedule you do: that you've got small children at home or that you're taking care of an aging parent. Let them know you've made tradeoffs -- like taking a pay cut or forgoing benefits."

Bob Nelson, author of 1001 Ways to Take Initiative at Work (Workman, 1999): "Be sensitive to the fact that your coworkers may need to cover for you when you're away. Let them know how much you appreciate it. Say thank you once in a while to a person who pinch-hits for you; you might even bring her flowers. Offer to fill in for her if she ever needs to be away. Invest in the relationship: It's hard for someone to resent you if she sees you value her."