It’s bound to happen. Sitting in the same room, with the same group of people, for eight hours a day, five days a week there will always be little things that irritate or annoy you at work. Nobody – and no office – is perfect!
However, there are a few common bugbears we could all avoid for a more harmonious workplace. If you’re guilty of any of the habits on the list below you may well be getting on your colleagues’ nerves.
1) Taking personal phone calls at your desk
We all have personal emergencies every now and then, those aren’t the sort of phone calls we’re talking about here.
We mean the gossipy call to your best friend that lasts for the entire lunch hour, the baby talk with your other half or the passive aggressive argument you’re having with your mother, which should all have been left outside the office.
Let your co-workers get to know you at after-work drinks or the office party, not by forcing them to listen to one side of your personal life while you’re on the phone.
2) Smelly foods
We’ve all been there, someone close by is eating something that, while it may taste great, has a lingering odour that makes your workspace uninhabitable. Tuna, garlic, egg and marinated meats are all big offenders and best avoided when you’re eating in a communal area.
Speaking of which, eating at your desk in general is a sure fire way to irk your co-workers. Noisy chewing, crumbs and dirty plates on your desk don’t make for a professional working environment. No workplace would begrudge you 30 minutes to eat in the kitchen – even on your busiest days!
3) Lazy kitchen hygiene
Another food related pet peeve, but there’s no reason for anyone else in the office to have to clear up your dirty dishes. Everyone is busy and everyone has better things to be doing, so spend the extra couple of minutes it takes to wash up and put your dishes away when you’ve finished eating.
4) Poor email etiquette
The dreaded ‘Reply All’ button! No one appreciates their inbox being filled up with spammy emails, so apply a less-haste-more-speed rule to your replies and check how many people you’re replying to before you hit send.
5) Bad parking
Office parking is usually a tight squeeze and poor parking only exacerbates the problem. Whether you’ve stolen someone else’s space, taken up multiple spots or blocked another car in, you’re simply inciting road rage from your colleagues!
6) The thermostat police
When it comes to office temperature, the truth is, there’s no pleasing everybody. Our best advice: if you know you’re a particularly cold person leave a jumper or cardigan at work so you always have a spare layer to put on and if you’re the other way round, maybe invest in a desk-top fan for those times the office reaches tropical temperatures!
Whether you’re ten minutes late at the start of the day or five minutes late to a meeting, tardiness looks sloppy, unprofessional and somebody always notices. What’s probably worse is that tardiness can also make you seem arrogant. They say the most important person at a meeting always shows up last, but you don’t want to gain a negative reputation.
8) Wasting time in meetings
As important as it is to contribute to the meetings you attend – there’s little to no point in you being there otherwise – try and apply the ‘so what?’ rule to everything you say or, if your comments and feedback are directed at one colleague in particular, follow up with a one-to-one conversation after the meeting.
9) Loud talkers
People who lack a volume control are completely distracting in an office environment. Whether it’s shouting on the phone, talking over others in meetings, or noisy conversation at your desk, be mindful of the people working around you.
10) ‘Borrowing’ equipment
Genuinely borrowing stationery, or other supplies, from your colleagues is completely acceptable. It’s borrowing and not returning that irritates people. Whether it’s your colleague’s personal equipment or an item supplied by the company, failing to return what you borrowed will simply inconvenience your co-worker and won’t make you popular.
Hopefully not too many of these bad habits apply to your place of work! Why not take a look at our Solutions Centre for other helpful hints and tips for making your office work better.