How to Cope with Annoying Coworkers

Annoyed woman

If you have your home to yourself during the day, working remotely can be a great experience. You can control everything to create whatever kind of environment is most conducive to you getting work done.

Unfortunately, that is not the case when you are back at the office with a building full of other employees and their quirks.

As the Wall Street Journal explains, it can be a jarring adjustment that you have to learn how to deal with.

Here are strategies for handling those behaviors that reach the point of becoming disruptive.

Too Much Background Noise

Many workers may engage in behaviors that irritate you due to how noisy it is, such as playing music as they work, or taking calls on speakerphone while they type. If it has become a habit that makes it hard for you to focus, tactfully requesting the individual wear earphones could be a simple fix.

Too Much Negativity

One of the biggest downsides of some workplaces can be the unwanted exposure to other people’s complaint sessions. Some people love to gossip and gripe, but you probably don’t want the stress.

If you can, take note of when this behavior happens, such as around lunchtime. That way you can either avoid being around it or brace for it and focus on something less intensive then.

Messy Behavior

Being remote may have conditioned people to some habits that are not considerate to others. This could mean leaving the kitchen space a mess after making food, or frequently heating up pungent meals.

It can be awkward trying to basically tell a fellow employee what to do but being gentle with your phrasing can help. Maybe let a coworker know that the aroma of their meal can get a bit overpowering for you at your desk and see if they are amenable to a compromise.

And don’t forget, bad habits can go both ways. Do not forget to examine your own behaviors for things you can improve and be open to hearing that criticism from others.

For more strategies on how to handle disruptive workplace behaviors, see what the Wall Street Journal has to say here.


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