8 Ways You May be Annoying Your Co-workers (Without Realizing it!)
With so many people working in cramped cubicles, sharing offices and work stations; it’s relatively easy to find yourself annoying your neighboring colleagues. This happens often without knowledge, but over time the things that you initially found endearing about your co-workers begin to irritate you too. Those little habits that you stick to daily at the office are now causing your co-workers to avoid you, but you may not realize this at first. In fact, while you may be complaining about the annoyances of your co-workers, chances are they are also complaining about you around the office cooler without your personal knowledge.
What are the little ways you annoy the heck out of your co-workers?
Here’s a rundown of some of the things you may be doing at work every day that bugs your co-workers to the point of insanity. If you find yourself engaged in any of these behaviors, do your best to control yourself and stop before someone loses it completely.
# 1 – Messy Work Station
Does your desk or work station look like a tornado has run through it? While your work style may be to surround yourself with plenty of chaos, this could be negatively affecting your co-workers who need clean space to be productive. A study conducted by Staples and Air Miles found that, “83 percent of the workers polled said clutter reduced their ability to be productive”. If you find it difficult to maintain the mess, try adding some simple storage elements to your work station.
#2 – Annoying Talk About Kids, Pets, etc.
While you may enjoy sharing the latest tale about your kid’s soccer game win or the adorable way your pet poodle wags his tail, your co-workers may be ready to punch you in the face if they have to hear one more story. Remember that it’s considerate to let your co-workers share tidbits about their lives and not be forced to hear about yours all the time.
#3 – Loud Personal Phone Calls
Taking personal calls while at work is one thing; turning up your volume while in the middle of an otherwise quiet work environment is another. Loud conversations can be very disruptive to others. If you must take personal calls, take them to another private area of the building or limit them to your lunch breaks.
#4 – Frequent Smoke Breaks
Finding it hard to kick the smoking habit? According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 20 percent of the US adult population smokes regularly. That means, you may be leaving your work station every few hours to catch a smoke break. But, what you may not realize is that your non-smoking coworkers may be resentful that you get to take frequent breaks to support your habit, then come back to your desk reeking of cigarette smoke.
#5 – Email Overload
How often do you get emails that are forwarded or CC’d to multiple people, but really don’t have anything at all to do with you? This is a major annoyance in many workplaces, especially when forwarding jokes, pictures, and videos in mass emails. Simply don’t do it.
#6 – Eating at Your Desk
Like to nosh on your lunch and other snacks while at your work station? Many working adults do this in an effort to squeeze more work into their days. In a recent survey conducted by Right Management, an HR consulting firm, it was revealed that 39 percent of American workers regularly eat lunch at their desks or don’t take a break at all for lunch. If you must eat at your desk, try to use your best manners and no talking with your mouth full of food.
#7 – Music Sharing
It’s fairly common for working people to listen to music while engaged in work tasks nowadays, especially with the use of smart phones and mobile devices. However, keep in mind that your co-workers may not appreciate your favorite Barry White tunes turned up for the whole office to enjoy. Keep it turned down and at the very least, use headphones and avoid singing out loud.
#8 – Brown-nosing the Boss
There is nothing worse than dealing with a co-worker who is always kissing up to the boss or trying to impress the manager. While you may think you are helping your career, essentially you are encouraging your team members to hate on you. Keep this in mind and never try to show your co-workers what a supreme intelligent being you are in front of the boss.
Remember, you can make or break your work experience with any number of annoying habits. Be on your best behavior while at work and try to respect the sanctity of the work environment for others.
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Tess C. Taylor
Tess C. Taylor CPC, PHR, SHRM-CP; Senior Blogger and Social Outreach for PayScale, is the Founder of HR Knows, a corporate content, consulting, and career coaching firm in New York; and the Founder and Managing Editor of The HR Writer, a popular blog in the Human Resources and Recruitment scene. She has worked in HR for nearly 2 decades, having spent many of those years working in the corporate sector for the Benefits Technology, eLearning, Environmental, Health care, and Manufacturing industries. Her work is regularly featured at About.com as the Employee Benefits expert, ADP Thrive, Business.com, PayScale’s Compensation Today, Dale Carnegie Institute, HR Gazette, HR Magazine, Social-Hire, and US News Careers. Voted by peers as a ‘Top 100 HR Experts to Follow on Twitter’, Tess continues to share insightful conversations that engage and educate people about important issues that affect the workplace. You can follow Tess on Twitter @HRKnows1