While they make great comic relief for movies and office sitcoms, annoying coworkers are far less amusing in real life. Whether they chew too loudly, make awkward jokes, or fail to carry their fair share of the workload, annoying employees can bring down the morale of their coworkers and hurt camaraderie and overall productivity.
Often employee behaviors may be annoying but technically perfectly permissible. There’s likely not a policy against loud chewing in most company handbooks. Therefore, it’s often up to employees themselves to be aware of what behaviors might rub their colleagues the wrong way. An article for Welcome to the Jungle written by Pauline Allione, and translated into English by Andrea Schwam, discusses five specific habits employees should avoid.
Optimism is great most of the time, but sometimes it’s important to acknowledge a bad situation and look for solutions to get out of it, instead of trying to force a positive attitude. Realism can be a more appropriate response that leads to better outcomes.
Most people love sharing their accomplishments. In fact, some people love it so much they can’t resist responding to a colleague’s achievements by talking about their own. This one-sided approach to conversation makes the other parties involved feel like they aren’t appreciated or even being genuinely heard.
Everyone runs into challenges at work at one time or another. While it can be useful to get input from colleagues, some employees feel the need to provide unsolicited advice, which can come across as condescending and intrusive.
Given how much time people spend with their work colleagues, it’s natural to discuss personal lives. Such sharing helps humanize team members and develops strong bonds. But at the end of the day, work is still a professional setting, and some personal information and stories just aren’t appropriate for the office or even to share with colleagues at an after-hours event.
When someone comes into work feeling down, they might appreciate a colleague trying to identify the cause and help address it. Perhaps more likely, however, they will appreciate some space. “Their concern for your wellbeing may seem real but is it? This amateur therapist can quickly become intrusive with colleagues and force them onto the proverbial couch,” says Allione.
Even when they’re doing everything right according to their job description and the employee handbook, some colleagues rub coworkers the wrong way with their unpolished interpersonal skills. While such habits may not violate any company policies, it’s important to be aware of such annoying behaviors in order to ensure a healthy, collaborative, and productive relationship with colleagues.
Lin Grensing-Pophal is a Contributing Editor at HR Daily Advisor.