How many hours per week are you in the office? Most people spend 40 hours every week surrounded by their co-workers in the cramped confines of office life. In every office, people, including you, have their own personal quirks. This means co-workers are bound to butt heads eventually.
Think about your office. Do you hate how mean Joe makes snide remarks, how loud Leah discusses her medical problems in the break room, or how stinky Steve always stinks? It’s practically impossible to like everyone at the office. But have you ever stopped to consider what your co-workers think about you?
No one wants to be disliked and with a little bit of office etiquette, it’s easy to get along with just about everyone. What makes your co-workers hate you? In no particular order, here are a few things that you could work on.
- Stinky – Smells can be intoxicating. They can also be devastatingly awful. Be aware of your body odor. Don’t bring in stinky lunches. Watch what you eat. Don’t over-do the perfume. Keep your shoes on at your desk. Keep odors to a minimum.
- Obnoxious – No one wants to be subjected to objectionable or offensive behavior. Watch what you say and do. You never know who you might offend with silly comments or annoying actions.
- No Noise Control – Turn your volume notch down a tick or two. Speaking loudly on the phone, laughing at every social media image, or constantly playing the desk drums is distracting to everyone around you.
- Personal Drama – The office is not the place for your personal drama. Your co-workers don’t want to hear about your horrible hangover, your girlfriend issues, or your eating habits. Keep it professional when you’re in the office.
- Hyperactive – If you can’t sit still, it’s distracting to others. Plus, you probably aren’t getting your work completed.
- Tardy – No one likes someone who is constantly late. Be on time to work, meetings, events. It shows that you care and doesn’t mess up anyone else’s schedule.
- Time Waster – The faster you get your work done, the faster you can do something else. If you’re procrastinating and wasting time it reflects badly on you and your office. Don’t waste your time or others. No one likes a time waster.
- Office Pets – It’s a pretty cool perk to bring your pet to the office, don’t abuse it. Be sensitive to your co-workers reaction to your dogs, cats, fish, or monkeys.
- Backstabbing – There is no faster way to an office feud than to take credit for someone else’s work. It’s okay to be competitive, but be sure to play fairly.
- Negative Attitude – No one likes a complainy pants. It’s frustrating to dwell on the negative. Even if you’re really upset, try to find the bright side of things. People respect that.
- Poor Personal Hygiene and Appearance – Most offices strive for a professional atmosphere. Dress the part. Be sure to take showers, brush your teeth, and wear appropriate outfits. Don’t be a slob.
- Talking About Taboo Subjects – There are certain topics that are off limits at the office. Avoid religion, politics, health issues, money, relationships, and other taboo topics at all costs. They only serve to infuriate people.
- Drinking – No one should be drinking at work. But drinking should also be avoided at apres functions, holiday parties, and other work functions. It’s not uncommon for people under the influence to get comfortable and divulge embarrassing info or behave like idiots.
- Email Etiquette – Inter-office emails are one of the easiest ways to communicate, but have some decency when you write them. Don’t be the person that writes in ALL CAPS, uses a ridiculous font, always hits replies all, or sends inappropriate links and comments. Of course the worst email issue is when someone doesn’t respond at all.
- Inflexible – When you work in an office, you work with all of your co-workers. You have to have some flexibility in your work schedule to adapt to your community.
- Lazy – If you’re not doing anything, you’re not helping anyone. Do your part and share the office burden. If you work as a team, you’ll bond with your team.
- Gossip – Avoid gossip at all costs. If it’s not your place to share something, then keep your mouth closed. Gossiping is one of the fastest ways to lose someone’s respect for you.
- Messy – Don’t be a mess. Keep your desk orderly – it will help you be more productive. Always clean up after yourself in the breakroom, kitchen, and common areas. Your co-workers don’t want to deal with your things.
Obviously, you don’t do all of these things (at least we hope not). Maybe you do one or two or ten or none. The key to being a bit more popular at the office is to be aware of what annoys other people. Next time you’re finger drumming on your desk, talking to your pet fish, or getting a little too “fun” at the apres-office, remember that you don’t want your co-workers to hate you.
No one wants to be the co-worker that everyone dislikes. Pick your battles. Bite your tongue. Blend in. It will make your office life much more enjoyable. And if you really can’t stand your co-workers, maybe it’s time to find a new job.