My ideal work environment is sitting at home in my comfy clothes with my dogs lying at my feet while I write and edit in total peace and quiet.
In reality, I work in an office full of people. And while most of my co-workers are great, a few of them – to put it nicely – are a bit annoying.
But it’s pretty much unavoidable that someone’s going to annoy you when you’re in an office 40 or more hours a week, and you combine a bunch of people with different personalities and backgrounds.
In fact, one in eight people will leave their job due to incivility and never report it, says Christine Porath, a professor of management at Georgetown University and co-author of The Cost of Bad Behavior: How Incivility Damages Your Business and What You Can Do About It.
So what behaviors are so bad that they could make you want to leave your job?
Here are 20 annoying folks that get on my nerves:
1) Noisy Eaters
This is #1 on my list! Having to listen to people crunch, slurp, gulp, smack their lips, and clank their spoons and forks makes me want to lash out irrationally! Most companies have lunch rooms. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone could be courteous and use them so they don’t bother their co-workers?
2) Sniffers And Throat Clearers
A very close second is people who sniff and clear their throats all day, every single day. Obviously, they need to see an allergist.
3) Gaseous People
I know we’re all human and every once in a while something might sneak out. But for the people who burp and pass gas at their desks day in and day out, please remember it’s simply not polite.
4) Loud Talkers
You know who I’m talking about. Those people who feel they have to use their outside voice all day long in the office. They stand right outside your office/cubicle and speak at the top of their lungs. Guess their parents didn’t teach them about having an inside voice.
5) Close Talkers
Every office has at least one, and hopefully you don’t have to deal with him or her often. They’re the people who feel compelled to get right up in your face to speak to you. And even if you back up to create your personal space boundary, they just move closer again and again.
6) Hygiene Addicts
There’s a time and a place for everything, and the office isn’t the place to clip your nails or floss your teeth. Have a rough nail or something stuck in your teeth? Go to the restroom and take care of it. Don’t sit at your desk and let your nail trimmings or food particles go flying into other people’s cubes!
7) Speaker Phone Users
Speaker phones are great if you have a number of people in your office who need to listen to a meeting or call. But you don’t need a speaker phone to listen to voicemail messages. The messages are for you and you alone. Picking up the receiver and listening to them privately is proper office etiquette.
8) Sick Time Martyrs
If you’re sick, work from home or take a sick day, but don’t go into the office. Most offices are a breeding ground for germs, and your co-workers don’t want to get sick. Hacking your head off isn’t going to win you any prizes.
9) Noisy Cell Phone Owners
Nowadays, it’s easy to silence your cell phone, … so please do it. Nobody else wants to know every time you get an email, text message or phone call. It’s just common courtesy.
10) Loud Listeners
It’s very polite to put headphones on when you need to listen to something that doesn’t concern the entire office or if you want to listen to music while you work. However, that’s only if you aren’t listening to it at maximum volume. If the person sitting next to you can hear your music when you have your headphones on, it’s too loud!
11) Smelly Food Eaters
Yes, fish is good for you and you should definitely eat it, but be kind and do it at home. Don’t eat your leftover salmon and broccoli in the office where you can stink up the entire building. If it’s a shared business space, keep the smelly foods out of it.
12) Reply-All Comedians
Guess what? That oh-so-witty comment you just had to reply all with probably isn’t as funny as you think. Save reply-all messages for people who are in projects and meetings with you.
13) Nervous Fidgeters
This includes pen clickers, pencil tappers, foot shakers, etc. Just put the device down and walk away. If you’re a foot shaker or tapper, keep both feet flat on the floor and think about switching to decaf coffee or tea.
There’s nothing worse than thinking you’re having a private conversation, when the person on the other side of your cubicle wall chimes in. Just remember, if you aren’t part of the initial conversation, try to stay out of it.
15) Personal Conversation Holders
Yes, we all need to take a personal call at work at some point or another. But there are those people who seem to have them every day and very loudly so everyone can hear. The problem is, most of us don’t want to hear every detail of a co-worker’s personal life. So take these calls outside or in a private area.
16) Office Newscaster
Most people are very busy at their jobs and don’t need a blow-by-blow account of everything that’s happening in the world. Yet some people in the office thinks it’s their duty to keep everyone around them apprised of the news. Hey, guess what? There’s this thing called the Internet that gives everyone access to the news.
17) Busy Beavers
I just love the people who are always telling you how swamped they are. Yet every time you pass their desk, they’re on Facebook, checking their phone, balancing their checkbook … everything but work. Guess that’s why they’re so darn busy.
18) Messy Marvin And Mary
It’s plain and simple, office etiquette dictates that if you make a mess, you clean it up. If you spill coffee on the counter, clean it up. If your lunch bubbles over in the microwave, clean it up. If your toast makes crumbs on the counter, clean it up. It never ceases to amaze me how many adults don’t do this.
19) Glamour Queens
Hairspray and perfume have no place in the office … unless you’re working for a modeling agency. A piece of advice: Do your primping at home. You never know who in the office could be allergic to your perfume or have a breathing problem.
20) Ungrateful Sneezers
If you sneeze and someone says “bless you,” the polite thing to do is say “thank you.” When you completely ignore the person who has been nice enough to acknowledge your sneeze, it’s just down right rude.
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So that’s my list of annoying co-worker behaviors. What annoys you about your co-workers? Feel free to share below!
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In a customer service area you may get two minutes of quiet each day, and when this occurs there is one employee that will start whistling and not an enjoyable tune. With all of the noise all day wouldn’t it be nice to have two minutes of quiet?
-Coworkers that sing loudly as they work. (…and, no, I do not work for Star Search)
-Coworkers that grumble or converse to themselves while reading emails or performing tasks; but only when someone is walking by.
Deborah MacGilvary says
That person who thinks it is okay to just stop by and interrupt anyone whenever they need to take a break or want a question answered. Just because someone’s door is open does not mean that the person wants a constant conversation.
That person that arrives 1-2 hours after everyone else, but tries to make you feel like you are slaking off when you leave 30-60 minutes beyond normal quitting time.