We’ve all been there…silently enduring a coworker’s annoying habit or behavior. And most often, coworkers don’t even realize that their own actions or behaviors are unintentionally annoying others.
Most people aren’t comfortable confronting the offender or speaking to the boss about it. So, people just continue repeating the irritating little habits that, over time, start to offend more than annoy, and can start to affect office relationships.
In my own informal polling of office executives, I learned of six of the top irritants that we want to put a period after. People won’t tell you if you’re guilty of any of these irritants and they likely won’t be listed on the agenda at staff meetings.
Good office etiquette enhances everyone’s workplace enjoyment. So, let’s hit the delete key on these six behaviors.
1. Ineffective communication
Each person communicates differently and sometimes disagreements are the results of miscommunication rather than actual issues. For example, if a Millennial needs to communicate with a Baby Boomer, texting might not be the most effective communication. A boomer may prefer a phone call, email or face-to-face meeting.
2. Clipping your fingernails at your desk.
Visit the restroom for any type of personal grooming, including teeth flossing.
3. Wearing too much fragrance.
A little goes a long way in a close office environment. A quick spritz will do. Not only do some people have allergies to fragrances, but when the fragrance enters the room before you do…well, you just may need a lighter touch.
4. “Office whispering.”
This is not the kind of courteous whispering to not distract coworkers. This is the kind that attracts coworkers. They wonder what’s being said, and about whom. Gossip of any kind hurts feelings and relationships.
5. Talking loudly outside of someone’s office.
Loud conversations in the hallway outside of someone’s office or cubicle are both distracting and annoying to those trying to get work done or who may be on the phone with a client. If a spontaneous chat in the hallway leads to an informal meeting, try to find an empty conference room to finish the conversation.
6. Leaving dirty dishes in the sink.
Show respect and courtesy to everyone who uses the office kitchen or break room by cleaning up after yourself. And take an extra moment to wipe down the counter. In fact, go the extra mile and leave the office kitchen cleaner than you found it!
Everyone likes working in a congenial office environment. Avoiding these six irritating behaviors helps make working together more enjoyable for everybody.