Who annoys you most at work? Is it the person who insists on ambling by your cubicle for a long chat when you’ve made it clear you’re on a deadline? Or maybe it’s the person who sends you 20 emails a day all marked URGENT? Every workplace has someone like that. But have you ever stopped to wonder whether that annoying person might be you?
Unknowingly, your office habits could be driving your co-workers bonkers. Don’t let these habits put a wedge between you and your workmates. If you’re not sure exactly where you stand, take a look at these workplace faux pas and see if you’re guilty of any of them.
1. You’re loud
From humming at your desk to a loud booming voice on the phone, if you’re not keeping tabs on your personal noise levels then you could be putting your relationship with your co-workers at risk.
2. You have some gross cubicle habits
Whether you’re leaving old takeout containers on your desk, piling up smelly shoes next to your garbage bin (yes, I really saw this once), or clipping your toenails, how you treat your workspace can have a direct effect on those around you. Keep your space clean!
3. You’re tormenting people via email
Do you always hit “reply all”? Do you sneakily “bcc” people on your correspondence? Or worst, do you write hopelessly long emails that take several paragraphs to get to the point? If you say yes to any of the above it’s time to check your email etiquette and find a better way to behave online.
4. You’re not paying attention
Any time you’re only half listening, it shows. You risk offending a colleague by not giving them the attention they deserve, or you may not get the job done properly the first time because you failed to absorb the important details. Listening — really listening — is a vital skill in any work environment, so pay attention.
5. You lack manners
Sometimes it’s the little things that tick people off. Like forgetting to say thank you when someone does a job well. Take notice to check how you interact with others regularly, and make sure your manners are up to snuff.
6. You act like you’re the centre of the universe
You interrupt a colleague while she’s on the phone. You keep people waiting because you were on an important call. You don’t acknowledge others’ contributions and forget to give credit where credit is due. You don’t let someone finish their sentence before interjecting your opinion. Sound familiar? Remember that a workplace is a team environment, so you need to behave accordingly.
7. You’re negative
Whether it’s shooting down a new idea or constantly complaining about traffic/weather/world politics, you might be guilty of being a downer. Tame your inner critic at the office and try to look on the bright side.
What annoys you most at work? Share in the comments below.
Follow personal finance expert Caroline Cakebread @ccakebread.