You spend a great deal of time between 9 and 5 each day (and then some) with your coworkers.  Combine that with the close quarters of cubicles, and the inherent stress of work itself, and it’s easy to see how coworkers could annoy one another.  Here are some ways to avoid being the annoying coworker everyone takes a bathroom break to get away from with these tips:

Take it off speakerphone.

Unless the message is truly for the entire office, then the entire office does not need to hear it, so keep the speakerphone usage on a “need to use” basis.  Not only can it disrupt and distract your coworkers, no one really wants to hear all of the messages in your voicemail box while they are trying to focus on their own initiatives.

Plug in the headphones.

Sometimes you will be working on a project or watching a webinar that requires you to hear audio.  Or perhaps you just need to listen to some jams to pick up your afternoon.  However, maybe not everyone in the room shares your affinity for country music, and CERTAINLY not everyone in the room wants to hear the tutorial you are watching on complex formulas in excel spreadsheets, so make sure to pack your headphones before leaving for the office.

Clean up your messes.

You might think your desk is “your property” so no one should care if it is clean or not, but truth is, a messy desk can throw off the professional ambiance of an office.  This is especially true if your messes overflow into neighboring areas, or if (gasp) your mess starts to have an aroma.  The same goes for the break room.  No one likes a colleague who trashes the company fridge and leaves dirty dishes all over the counters, so tidy up!

Keep your personal business personal.

Unless your coworkers are also friends who care about your personal business, then they don’t want to hear how your date last Friday went.  It can be very annoying for fellow colleagues when coworkers take personal calls at their desk, or gossip audibly across the cubes.  Take it to the hall, or better yet, save it until after you clock out.

Be a good borrower.

As cube neighbors and team members with a common goal, it should be expected that you will share things, both items and ideas, with your colleagues.  But no one likes a coworker who borrows something and claims it as their own.  If you borrow scissors, make sure you give them back.  If a colleague gives you an idea for something, make sure to give them credit for it.

It is important to be a good neighbor and team member to the coworkers you spend your days with.  If you are cognizant and respectful of those around you, it will create a more harmonious work environment for everyone!