What is the Cost of Bad Relationships at Work?

Does having bad working relationships with your co-workers impact your life? Here, we examine the cost of not investing in better relationships at work.

Having good relationships at work is crucial for both personal and professional success. When you have positive relationships with your colleagues, you are more likely to feel supported, motivated, and engaged. This, in turn, can make your job more enjoyable. Wouldn’t you rather spend your work hours connecting with people rather than feeling isolated?   

Not having good relationships at work can have a significant negative impact on your well-being and career. Because you spend so much time at work, when your professional relationships are lacking, it can impact your entire sense of well-being. In fact, relationships are so important that social disconnection and exclusion actually activates the same pain pathways that are triggered by physical injury.

At MacklinConnection, we offer programs based on a method developed over 30 years aimed at improving your professional and personal relationships. We have seen teams go through our workshop series who transform from combative arguing to being able to actually connect and engage with each other. We know it's possible to cultivate better relationships at work and have more fun while working because of the connections you make.    

In this article, we will explore the costs of not having good relationships at work and how your professional connections can transform your experiences - both at work and in your personal life.

How Bad Work Relationships Impact Your Life

If you aren’t connecting with your colleagues, it can cause you to suffer in both your career and personal life. Experiencing regular conflict at work or lacking connection at all can result in:

  • Increased stress;
  • Limited engagement and motivation;
  • Lack of career opportunities;
  • Poor well-being; and
  • Less career satisfaction.

If you are already experiencing stress because of work or things happening at home, bad working relationships are only going to magnify 


Not having good relationships at work can lead to increased stress - and not just at work. When you don’t feel supported by your co-workers, you may feel isolated, lonely, and overwhelmed. This feeling can carry over to your home life, no matter how good you think you can compartmentalize. Stress has one of the most significant impacts on our physical and mental health. Prolonged stress can impact all systems of the body and result in long-term health complications.

Decreased Productivity

Poor relationships at work can also lead to decreased productivity. When you don’t have positive relationships with your colleagues, you may be less motivated to come to work, less likely to contribute to team projects, and be less likely to perform at your best. This can lead to decreased productivity, missed deadlines, and poor performance reviews. If you feel like you can’t communicate with your co-workers, you might get excluded from projects, hide in meetings, and miss out on important opportunities to make a difference at your company. 

Limited Career Growth

Not having good relationships at work can also limit your career growth. When you don’t have positive relationships with your co-workers, you may not receive mentorship, guidance, or support that can help you advance our careers. You may also be less likely to be considered for new opportunities or promotions. Even if you try to transition out of your current role, you might also struggle to get recommendations or support from your co-workers.

Negative Impact on Well-being

Having poor relationships at work can have a negative impact on your overall well-being. When you don’t feel supported by your colleagues, you may experience feelings of loneliness and isolation. Not feeling like you belong can weigh on you. These feelings can have a significant impact on our mental health and can spill over into our personal lives, affecting our relationships with family and friends. And, if you feel rejected by your work colleagues, your brain processes this the same as physical pain. It literally hurts to feel disconnected from your co-workers.

Decreased Job Satisfaction

Finally, not having good relationships at work can lead to decreased job satisfaction. When you don’t feel supported by your colleagues, you may be less satisfied with your work, less likely to feel engaged, and less likely to feel like you are making a meaningful contribution. This can lead to burnout, decreased morale, and higher probability of being let go.

Developing Better Professional Relationships Improves Your Life

Not having good relationships at work can have a significant negative impact on your well-

being, productivity, career growth, and job satisfaction. It’s essential to invest time and effort into building positive relationships with your colleagues, including building trust, communicating effectively, and collaborating on projects. This can create a positive work environment that supports your personal and professional growth.

Because we spend as much time at work as we do at home, our professional relationships have the ability to enhance our lives or make everything feel so much worse. 

Our professional workshop series is designed to help you create better relationships with your co-workers. You’ll discover how to actually communicate and listen  - which is key to success in the workplace. 

If you’re ready to discover the power of communication and how it shapes your professional relationships, you can schedule a consultation with one of our workshop leaders.