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A Competitive Office

General information May 18th 2016

A little friendly competition with your colleagues can be the source of motivation you need to achieve great heights. It's also often a natural impulse. At the same time, constantly comparing yourself with a colleague can be self-defeating. We have all been there when a new colleague starts at your place of work and your automatically thinking is this person going to show me up (I know, hard to believe but even I’m not perfect).

It all depends on your personality and preference. If you want to be individually rewarded and you are motivated through achievement, then you will want some competition however if you are more communally focused and want your colleagues to be like a family, then you will prefer the collaboration.

It’s really up to you if you want a competitive work lifestyle. Here are some pros and cons to consider to help you decide:


Competition ignites motivation to boost your performance and productivity, if the end goal is to outpace another colleague, you'll likely get more done than if you weren't in competition at all. Earning that win can also feel self-validating. Some companies have reward systems that encourage competition.

Competition reduces complacency pushing you out of your comfort zone. A competitive environment has no room for laziness. You're held accountable for your work and achievements, and failure to perform will leave space for your competitors to zoom ahead. Competition in general is a strong incentive to push yourself beyond your normal call of duty. In a competitive environment, employees are less likely to be bored.

Another pro to consider is that often more “Competition encourages quality and innovation.” In addition to being more productive, competitive colleagues are also under constant pressure to perform in new and offer potentially better ways. Some have said that competition is the mother of innovation. Organised competitive environments tend to reward those that stand out from the rest. Who can deliver the most unique and efficient sales technique? Simply doing your job well isn't enough to stand out. Beating the rest of the competition can encourage your employees to go above and beyond to improve their performance, differently and more efficiently.

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Constantly comparing yourself to others can fuel a sense of unhappiness. As the saying goes, "comparison is the thief of joy." Creating the competition will emphasise a thought that there's always going to be someone better than you, constantly chasing perfection is like a dog chasing its tail. Even if you do hit a home run at work, the satisfaction is often short-lived because it's on to the next challenge. This subconscious thinking unfortunately creates a hostile environment in the office.

A competitive work environment hinders collaboration. If every man is for himself, then he has little incentive to focus on the organisation's goals. Together, you and colleagues will have a much higher chance of beating out your top business competitors than if each of you is preoccupied with beating each other. Having a stronger team will create a stronger company.

“Competition is very good… As long as it’s healthy. It’s what makes one strive to be better.”

So leaving you on this note I believe that healthy competition can be a great thing to boost morale as long as it isn’t too competitive. It might be a good idea to set up challenges and targets to hit as teams, as well as individuals. Bringing individual targets as well as teamwork together will bring the workforce together and bring unity in the work place therefore more profit in the long run, as well as boost morale.

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