What do we say to appreciate a person who has worked with us for some time? In other words, how do we say we have enjoyed working with someone?
Well, at least in English, the basic formula is to use the expression “it has been a pleasure working with you.”
At the surface, this business expression may seem like a child’s play, but in reality, there is more to it than meets the eye.
So today, we’ll get to the nitty-gritty of “it has been a pleasure working with you” and explore some other ways to say it. Let’s start with its meaning.
How to use the expression “it has been a pleasure working with you”?
“It has been a pleasure working with you” is a farewell gratitude expression used in business communication, particularly when a person leaves the company. Not limited to that, this may also be used during work anniversaries and other similar events to appreciate and celebrate teamwork among people.
“It has been a pleasure working with you”: Context and grammar
Although relationships are expected to end at some point, we must express heartwarming messages to one another to maintain positive relationships.
This situation gets more relevant in the business world because trust and courtesy are two key elements that keep businesses afloat.
The formal language register, which constitutes the use of a consultative tone, is the default strategy in writing resignation notices and even responding to resignation letters in the commercial world.
The formal expression “it has been a pleasure working with you” is most typically used in writing voluntary resignation letters or when someone leaves the company.
It suggests the meaning “I have enjoyed the time we spent working together,” which is worth saying to employers as a parting message.
The use of the present perfect aspect under the present tense in “it has been” minus the contraction communicates a formal, respectful tone regarding the described work experience.
Writing in the present tense is generally suggested in all formal writing contexts, particularly when stating facts and drawing conclusions based on actual data.
Using “it has been a pleasure working with you” in context
Not merely limited to resignation letters, “it has been a pleasure working with you” may also be used in other gratitude-related contexts and events.
For example, it can also be used when thanking someone at a work anniversary gathering or when writing a thank-you letter to your mentor with whom you respect a lot.
Some of the very best work-anniversary wishes that work in the business world are those that communicate warmth, sincerity, and are relationship-appropriate.
Meanwhile, one of the best ways to express utmost gratitude to your mentor is by writing a letter by hand because it conveys the use of effort and dedication to the task.
In an even more specific theme, “it has been a pleasure working with you” is simply the opposite of “looking forward to working with you” because the latter is used when one is about to join a team or a company.
In a nutshell, “it has been a pleasure working with you” is a gratitude expression used in saying you have been glad to be part of a team.
Some notable replies to “it has been a pleasure working with you” include “the pleasure is all mine,” “the honor is mine” or “I share the same sentiment.”
“It has been a pleasure working with you” vs “It’s been a pleasure working with you”
Contraction in language studies is the process of shortening or shrinking syllables, words, and phrases to achieve a more colloquial tone.
As the main goal of using formal writing strategies is to communicate clarity and preciseness of thoughts, this makes the use of contractions less appropriate.
As a default rule, contractions have to be avoided in formal writing contexts because they invite an impression that the writer wants to use a simpler and “chattier” language tone.
With this in mind, using “‘it’s been’ a pleasure working with you” instead of “‘it has been’ a pleasure working with you” is considered less formal, relatively speaking.
In another yet similar vein, this formal language strategy also makes the expression “looking forward to speaking with you” slightly less formal than “I am looking forward to speaking with you.”
So, when writing, the better option is to use the non-contracted version which is “it has been a pleasure working with you.”
When speaking, though, using “it’s been a pleasure working with you” is more well-fitting when talking about business and academic contexts.
In situations that require a measure of indefinite time for achievement and experiences, the present perfect aspect is the best choice.
This is why “it has been a pleasure working with you” is more grammatically suitable than “it was a pleasure working with you” or “it had been a pleasure working with you.”
Eight other ways to say “it has been a pleasure working with you” in email writing
The one-size-fits-all concept does not necessarily apply in language use because we have to adjust the tonality of our expressions depending on the overall situation.
That said, we can further do some fine-tuning to “it has been a pleasure working with you” to appropriately meet the expectations of our message receiver.
So, here are ten alternatives to “it has been a pleasure working with you” that you can use as you wish in email writing.
1. It has been a pleasure working with you, and I look forward to…
“It has been a pleasure working with you” may not be enough to communicate our future relationship goals with our target message receiver.
Hence, we can add another clause that should convey our positive hopes for the future like “and I look forward to working with you again in the future, should there be another chance to do so.”
Feel free to use this language formula when expressing gratitude and at the same time wishing for future collaboration, especially to a superior or authority figure.
2. I sincerely thank you for the time we have worked together
Another courteous and heartfelt gratitude expression is “I sincerely thank you for the time we have worked together.”
Adding the adverb “sincerely” particularly makes the expression more genuine but still maintains the use of formal language structure in the process.
3. I truly value the time we have spent working together
“I value the time we have spent working together” is also an equally-competitive gratitude phrase when a huge amount of respect is at stake.
You may conveniently use this when thanking a leader or anyone with whom you feel like cherishing for a long time, such as a long-term research partner or a thesis adviser.
4. I have genuinely enjoyed the time working with you
Another neutrally-formal way of saying “it has been a pleasure working with you” is “I have genuinely enjoyed the time working with you.”
You may use this expression if you wish to communicate sincerity to a mentor who has taught you exceptional values that will certainly help you in the trajectory of your career.
5. I have enjoyed working with you
A formal yet relatively less personal message than the other expressions listed above is “I have enjoyed working with you.”
You may use “I have enjoyed working with you” when you think the time you have spent with your coworkers is not that long enough.
More precisely, “I have enjoyed working with you” is appropriate in work anniversary wishes when you have only worked for a year or two with your message receiver.
6. It was a pleasure working with you
7. It was great working with you
“It was great working with you” works better when referring to shorter-term collaboration, such as those that are project-based.
This means that using this neutral expression would not be enough for long-term relationships because it conveys little to no emphasis.
In particular, you may use something as neutral as “it was great working with you” when referring to a particular piece of work that happened shortly in the past.
8. It was my pleasure to be part of the team
Likewise, “it was my pleasure to be part of the team” is a good choice when referring to a form of collaboration that happened in the past.
As an example, this expression may be used when you get invited as a guest presenter or speaker in a company that you used to work for.
Avoid the following alternatives for “It has been a pleasure working with you”
Even if an expression conveys a similar surface meaning, it may fail to express the same formal and genuine tonality with “it has been a pleasure working with you.”
Here are two expressions to avoid if your goal is to sincerely appreciate the work you have done with others in formal writing:
Pleasure working with you all
Since we have already discussed some of the most formal and neutral alternatives to “it has been my pleasure to work with you,” let us also cover a couple of similar phrases to avoid.
“Pleasure working with you all” is a truncated version of “it has been a pleasure working with you,” which does not clearly indicate the tense or aspect of the verb.
To avoid sounding ingenuine and linguistically negligent in email writing, you had better steer clear of the expression “Pleasure working with you all”:
Clearly enough, the script above should be reserved for spoken contexts rather than in formal, written correspondence.
Nice working with you
Lastly, another expression that likely communicates sincerity is “nice working with you.” Although short and direct, this one fails to convey little to no amount of genuineness.
So, in order not to be misperceived as evasive or even passive-aggressive in email writing, please avoid the following example in situations that require utmost sincerity and courtesy:
Gratefulness can be linguistically expressed in many ways, and doing so depends on the context of the exchange, with more emphasis on the relationship with the message receiver.
Not only does this idea applies to “it has been a pleasure working with you” but also with tons of other business English expressions out there.
Hope to see you in our next posts!
Frequently Asked Questions on “It has been a pleasure working with you”
Is saying “it’s been a pleasure working with you” genuine or ironic?
“It’s been a pleasure working with you” is generally found in resignation letters, which are formal documents. Thus, without considering the existing relationship factor between the sender and receiver, it is generally genuine. To make it even more formal, the contraction has to be avoided.
How do you say you enjoy working with someone?
For longer and deeper-term relationships, something like “I truly value the time we have spent working together.” Otherwise, “pleasure working you” may be used.
What does “it’s” in “it’s always a pleasure working with you” mean?
“It’s” is the contraction of “it” and “is” in “it’s always a pleasure working with you.” The use of the adverb “always” particularly supports this simple present contention.
Hey fellow Linguaholics! It’s me, Marcel. I am the proud owner of linguaholic.com. Languages have always been my passion and I have studied Linguistics, Computational Linguistics and Sinology at the University of Zurich. It is my utmost pleasure to share with all of you guys what I know about languages and linguistics in general.