You might spend more waking hours with your colleagues than you do with your family, so it’s no surprise that the odd co-worker habit may get on your nerves. One thing’s for sure, you’re not alone in getting fed up with your colleagues.
Here are some of the most common gripes people have concerning the habits of their desk neighbours.
We all have to eat, and lots of us now do this at our desks to save time or so we can browse the web while we munch. However, if you’ve ever had to endure the constant rustling, crunching and slurping of a co-worker, you’ll know exactly how annoying this can be.
Your colleagues’ cleaning habits at home are their concern, but if you’re unlucky enough to work next to someone who sees fit to turn their desk area into an impromptu rubbish dump, you’ll understand what this is one of the most unpopular office habits.
Sitting next to an ever-expanding pile of wrappers, cans and food detritus is distracting, and after a while these untidy areas can even start to smell, particularly when temperatures rise in summer.
Lots of workers now listen to music through headphones when they’re getting on with their tasks, and this can block out noise and help them to concentrate. The trouble is, it may have precisely the opposite effect on neighbouring staff members.
Hearing tinny versions of someone else’s favourite sounds, whether they’re the latest chart tunes, ‘80s classics, Bach’s symphonies or anything else, can really put workers off their stride.
We all remember Dom Jolly with his big phone on Trigger Happy TV. Well, it seems some people liked this character so much that they decided to keep him alive by imitating him on a daily basis. It’s amazing how successfully some individuals can project their voices, whether they’re making or answering calls or simply chatting to someone else in the office.Sitting next to someone like this can make concentrating virtually impossible.
Coming to work when sick
On the one hand, arriving in work while sick is stoical. On the other hand, we wish people wouldn’t do it. There are few things worse than being sat next to a colleague who spends the whole day coughing, spluttering, sneezing or wheezing.
This is made even more irritating if, a few days later, you wake up with that telltale tickle in your throat.
Repetitive noises are a common source of annoyance too. When people chew gum, breathe loudly, hum, tap or do anything else over and over, they run the risk of driving their colleagues mad. In many cases, individuals aren’t even aware of what they’re doing.
Asking unnecessary questions
Another source of irritation concerns desk neighbours who are all too willing to lean over and ask questions that they could easily get the information themselves by checking on the web. When these queries are met with the response “let me Google that for you”, they have almost certainly caused annoyance.
If you have to put up with a colleague who’s forever interrupting your train of thought to ask unnecessary questions, you’ll see why this is such a common source of complaint.
The right office setup can help
Luckily, there are ways to reduce possible sources of workplace irritation. For example, strategically placed office screens can help to block out excessive noise and boost concentration. Also, by thinking carefully about how to arrange desks within working areas, bosses can ensure that workers have enough personal space.
Don’t have a cleaning rota for your colleagues? Leave it to the experts from Ideal Cleaning who have over 65 years of experience in cleaning offices from top to bottom.
Which habit do you find most annoying in your colleagues?
This is a post with images from Chris, Stavos and Legozilla via Flickr.