We’ve all worked with them. That one person at work who just doesn’t seem to get it. Maybe the person is loud-mouthed, annoying, or just trying too hard, and is always getting on everyone’s nerves.
Most of the time, they don’t realize how many problems they can be causing in the office. While there are several ways of handling difficult co-workers, many team members have no idea they are being “that person” who is causing problems. Here are some ways you can identify if you’re being a difficult co-worker and how you can fix those annoying habits.
You’re Just Not Fitting in
Even though it may not be in the company handbook, each employer has their own company culture, which has its own etiquette, expectation, and accepted behaviors. It could be the way you dress, the words you say, or even how you use emails. Pay attention to how your managers and co-workers behave and take in the unspoken rules of conduct. Also, look through your emails to make sure you aren’t marketing your emails urgent, or Cc’ing or Bcc’ing every email. If you are, you’re being “that guy.” When in doubt, ask your manager for advice.
There are several reasons to keep your workplace tidy, but a dirty workspace can communicate several bad messages to your co-workers and management. Many people work in communal areas and shared workspaces, so by not keeping your space clean, you aren’t respecting the others who are using the same space. While you may think it’s a sign that you’re busy, most think it’s a sign of laziness.
There are places other than your workspace you can keep tidy, too. If you eat at a restaurant for lunch and bring back leftovers, make sure to take it home after work or eat it in the next few days. It can be very annoying to co-workers when the company fridge is full of half-eaten food and forgotten-about lunch sacks.
Prim and Proper Failure
Noise and smells can travel, especially if you’re working in a un-secluded part of an office or warehouse. Take the time to freshen up a bit after bicycling to work, working out during your lunch break, or eating a meal that makes your breath smell. If you work closely with other people, they will notice and it will reflect poorly on your professional image.
Also, pay attention to how people react to the volume of your voice and what you generally talk about. Some colleagues across the office may not want to hear about your weekend plans. Ask around if the music you listen to is disturbing your fellow co-workers. These types of interferences can slow down productivity and quickly gain you a bad reputation.
While you may need to vent your frustrations to a confidant to relieve stress, complaining too much can make you look bad. Such strong negativity can make your co-workers feel like you aren’t a good worker or that your negative outlook is draining. Consciously try to be positive and respectful. You may not care, but avoid interrupting colleagues or discounting others’ ideas. A few kind words can help you build stronger relationships with your peers.
Working with the same people every day can be hard, but bad behavior can make things even worse. Not being “that guy” may be a simple mix of workplace etiquette and common sense, but they’re still good to keep in mind. What are some annoying behaviors you’ve faced at work?