We know, work isn’t always fun and games; a lot of stressful stuff goes on there! Day in and day out, there are deadlines to meet and fires to put out, and the office environment and morale can get a little less sunny at times. Given the occasionally exasperating nature of work, it is extremely important to be courteous and cognizant of how your actions affect those around you. Offices are a closed space filled with different personalities, and it is important to remember that everyone’s goal is to work and work well, and benefit the company; making sure you are not agitating or disrupting your coworkers from this goal will maintain a harmonious and productive environment. You don’t have to walk around the office on eggshells, but paying a little extra attention in the office to what you say and what you do will make sure your job and your coworkers’ is a lot easier.
Sometimes, we may not even know that we are annoying Sally in the adjacent cubicle; often times agitating actions aren’t done on purpose, but by accident. Below are some things you might be doing to annoy your coworkers as outlined in an Excelle.monster.com article; are you guilty as charged of any of these offenses?
Annoyance No. 1: (Loud) Personal Calls
It might sound insensitive, but nobody wants to hear about your kids getting sick or how angry you are with your husband. Nor do they want to be in on your weekend ski trip plans or that embarrassing thing your friend did at the bar last night. Personal information can make others feel uncomfortable, and constant chatting on the phone about non-work subjects can make you look like someone who isn’t getting their work done. If you must make a personal call, it’s best to leave your desk and make the call in a closed conference room, take it outside, or wait until your shift is over. Leave the work phone for work conversations only.
Annoyance No. 2: A Dirty Desk
Soda cans. Coffee cups. Assorted papers and office supplies. Leftover food. We’ve all seen these things pile up on an office slob’s desk, and some might wonder — whom does it really harm?
Actually, it can bother people more than you think. If your desk is so cluttered that your mess infringes on a coworker’s workspace, it’s attracting flies, or you’re losing or soiling important documents, you’re going to get a reputation as sloppy, immature, and incompetent — not a good trio of characteristics!
Annoyance No. 3: M.I.A. Employee
While everyone else is busy plugging away at their computers, you’re never anywhere to be found. You’re either taking a long lunch, on one of your many breaks or calling in sick (again). While nobody wants to see you chained to your desk, your empty chair can symbolize something you don’t want to be associated with: laziness.
Annoyance No. 4: Brown-Nosing
Perhaps even worse than the M.I.A. employee is the person who blatantly tries to outshine everyone else at every opportunity. Taking credit for someone else’s work, throwing a coworker under the proverbial bus during a meeting, and making disingenuous flattering compliments to the boss are all ways to make your coworkers resent you.
While you need your superior(s) to know you’re a valuable asset to the company, it’s best to be subtle and let the quality of your work speak for itself. Give credit to coworkers when it’s due, don’t tattle on others unless absolutely necessary, and keep those compliments on the boss’s tie to a minimum. Otherwise, you might be doing more harm than good.
Annoyance No. 5: Frequent Forwards
Every once in a while a funny video clip or link to an interesting story can be a welcome break from the workday. However, there’s a limit to how much people can take. If you’re forwarding one or more emails a day to several people in the office about things that aren’t work-related, you’re probably driving everybody crazy.
A never-ending stream of emails containing funny links or (even worse) solicitations for donations to some cause may be interesting or important to you, but they only give your coworkers the impression that you’re goofing off on company time.
Annoyance No. 6: Constant Complaints
People need to vent sometimes, and work is called “work” for a reason. But if you spend an inordinate amount of time complaining to anyone who’ll listen, you’re not going to succeed in making things better. You’ll only succeed in bumming everyone out and earning the label of a malcontent.
Annoyance No. 7: Gabby Gossips
You always see them surfing sites like TMZ and Perez Hilton, whenever they aren’t at the front desk whispering to the receptionist. If anyone’s having an affair or getting fired, they’re always the first to know; whether the info they’re passing on is actually correct is secondary.
Here’s the thing about office gossip: people notice the people who are always in the middle of it. If you find yourself in secretive conversations with somebody known for having loose lips, you’ll be seen as guilty by association. Ironically, while those who love to dish may find a ready audience for their juicy bits of info, after a while they’ll find themselves with fewer and fewer confidants who’ll risk their reputations around the office to talk to them about anything.
Annoyance No. 8 Office Pranksters
Much like meetings, pranks around the office are only appreciated in small doses; any more than that and they become a gigantic annoyance. Even those with a good sense of humor will tire quickly if they can’t go to the restroom without coming back to a trashed cube or a computer that doesn’t work.
There’s a time and a place for pranks in the office. The same goes for the rest of these annoying habits.