How To Cope When A Close Colleague Leaves

Workspace is not just a place where we go to work. It is also a social ground where people of similar liking and nature come together as friends. The workplace may have evolved a lot over the years, but one thing still remains constant – Human Connection. We build relationships with people who work with us everyday for 8-10 hours, and when they leave, it may feel like departing with a good friend.

In times like these when mass layoffs are happening everywhere, we thought this would be the right time to help those who lose their office friends to unwilling business decisions of their company. So, here are a few tips to help you handle yourself when a close colleague leaves.

Talk About It

The first thing that happens after a close friend leaves is the abundance of awkward silence. This silence can eat into your professional composure affecting both productivity and will to work. The best way to break this silence is to talk, preferably to the one who left itself. When you do that, you not only let go slowly and more comfortably, but also get the realisation that your relationship still stays intact beyond the job.

If talking to them feels difficult, you can always talk to your HR or office counsellor about it too. If you do not have them stationed, your manager or team lead can also be a good option if they are willing to listen. Talk to them about how you feel, what is bothering you, and how you think you can recover from this loss.

Accept The Change

It is evident that they won’t be returning and someone else might be taking their place soon. As alienated as it may seem to see someone else as the go-to person for things from now on, it is important to accept it. Keep the pace to your comfort but do not let it discourage the newcomer who has come in their place either.

One of the most effective ways to adapt yourself to such changes is to involve yourself more in work. When you do that, you will have less space to think about the missing person next to you. Also, work related conversations are the best way to break the ice with the new colleague who may actually turn out to be your next best friend too.

Take A Leadership Role

You may not be the manager of the team, but when one of your close teammates leaves, it places a void in the structure of the organization too. If you belong to the relevant field as they were in, taking initiative of managing the changes in the dynamics of the teamwork can help a lot. Not only will this help you get accustomed to the change in the team, but will also groom your leadership skills to your seniors leading to better career growth.

Time Soothes Everything

Most important of all among all the tips is to give time to everything that is happening around you. Neither rush into conclusions or let someone else rush you into accepting the change. Take an off from work and meet up with your old colleague for a change. As the pandemic is laid on all of us leading to restriction of meeting, travelling and socializing, try digitally staying in touch with them. With time, you won’t raise how well you have lived through this phase without harming your emotional side.