Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
WORKPLACE / OCT. 04, 2014
version 5, draft 5

5 Insanely Annoying Work Habits

We’ve all had coworkers with strange or even quirky habits. Sometimes they’re barely noticeable, or even a little cute. But then you get stuck with an office or cubical mate who does some of the most annoying things known to man.

Even worse, you may have some of these habits and are not even be aware of it. Have you noticed your coworkers giving you odd looks? Maybe the hair on the back of your neck stands up, and you can feel someone glaring daggers into your spine.

Making tons of arbitrary noise

Not so surprisingly, people are often irritated when an individual is making a ton of noise for no particular reason. While expecting total silence throughout the workday is completely unreasonable (and would be extremely awkward). Drumming a beat out on a desk is extremely annoying as well after all no one can hear the music in your headphones but you.

Be clean, please

Whether it’s after drinking a cup of coffee or eating lunch, strong smells can come from all sorts of places--your armpits, your mouth, your feet. Have you ever worked with a cubical mate who wasn’t afraid to slip off her shoes during a relaxing lunch break? Invest in some office-wide mints or minty candy to combat after-lunch breath.

Additionally, do us all a favor: don’t ever take off your shoes at work. While you may think your feet are clean, they carry both a lot of germs and can often carry an odor that you, yourself, don’t smell.

If you’re putting your naked feet on your desk, you’re on a totally different level and should definitely re-examine your priorities.

Don’t take conference calls on a speaker phone, especially in an open office

Headsets are becoming more and more popular with the increase in video and voice conference calls. However, some people are still stuck in the stone ages, using speaker phones to try and communicate while simultaneously pulling chips or pretzels out of a loud, crinkly bag.

Try investing in a decent headset if you find yourself making a ton of noise on conference calls. While you may feel that muting your end when you aren’t speaking helps, it can make others feel like you’re zoning out when the conversation isn’t directly related to you. Plus, muting your end of a conference call eliminates accountability and can lead to distracting behavior.

Don’t be gross

If you’re one of those people who thinks it’s okay to openly belch or burp in an office, you should really invest in an etiquette class. Don’t try and cut your fingernails or toenails at work (I have seen this first-hand), and especially don’t pick your nose... then proceed to answer a communal phone.

This also accounts for the workaholics who come in despite being ill, coughing and sneezing on every innocent soul in sight. Illnesses happen, but there’s no reason to spread disease like you’re Patient Zero. If you feel a flu or cold coming on, do the office a solid and stay at home.

Don’t touch other people

There are several reasons (including legal ones) where touching can be a big no-no in the office, but for some reason, there are still people who feel that touching others is okay.

Generally, keep your hands to yourself. While having fun and kidding around can be one thing, if you’re not absolutely certain that a person is okay with you touching them, it’s best not to. This includes friendly (or so you perceive) hugs, pokes, tickles, etc. If you’re tickling people at your place of business, you should probably take a step back.

As for pregnant women and co-workers, always remember to ask before touching a baby bump.

What do you think? What are some of the most annoying office habits you’ve encountered, or overcome? Are you guilty of any of these?


Image courtesy of The Office on NBC.

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