WORKPLACE / SEP. 01, 2015
version 29, draft 29

Worst Ways to Annoy a Coworker

Maintaining a healthy relationship with your coworker is vital, especially because you spend the better part of your day- approximately eight hours or more, with him/her. Unfortunately, there are certain behaviours and actions which could potentially annoy a colleague. For most people, the fact that no one has complained yet, is enough indication that they are good colleagues. However, this does not automatically mean that you do not possess any qualities of an annoying colleague. Here are the worst ways to annoy your coworker- actions that you should stop doing.

See Also: How to Get Along with Annoying Coworkers

1. Sharing All Personal Information With Your Coworker

Your life is an interesting open book that you must share with anyone who cares to listen. Therefore, you will use any opportunity at work, to fill your colleagues in on how bad your back hurts, or inform them of your distant cousin’s current grades in school. As much as you do not mind letting the world know everything about yourself, the world simply does not care and would prefer if you kept some things for yourself. The motto ‘Too Much Information (TMI) never harmed anyone’ should not be a part of your life. What would you think of a colleague who would not hesitate to tell everyone about the nitty gritty details of her husband’s pending court case?

2. Talking About Politics or Religion

When you are very convinced that the previous elections were rigged and the current government is run by an anarchist, you feel that this should be the general opinion at your workplace and everyone should dedicate a day to demonstrate on the streets. Therefore, you set out on a campaign to ensure all your colleagues are on board. However, politics is a topic you need to refrain from talking at the workplace. This is a very sensitive issue that sometimes leads to unintended workplace violence, simply because individuals tend to feel strongly attached to their political beliefs and take contrary opinions to be personal attacks. If you must discuss politics, ensure that you practice a high level of sensitivity. Closely related to this, is talking about religion. The freedom of expression should not be misused in this case to freely and openly attack other religious beliefs. Would you blame a colleague who completely detaches when their religion is referred to as misleading?

3. Coming to Work Sick

If you have flu and come to work to spread it around, your colleagues will obviously be very grateful. Of course, this will not be the case, but maybe after infecting them, they may have the decency to call in sick. It is a complete faux-pas to report to work while sick, especially when suffering from a contagious disease, just because you cannot fathom that a simple cold could cause you to miss on an important deadline. It is utterly important to develop common sense and understand that it is better to stay and work from home when sick, as opposed to spreading diseases at the workplace. For example, what would you think of a colleague suffering from a persistent cough who keeps coughing every five minutes?

4. Keeping a Messy Workplace

How do you expect to brainstorm with a fellow colleague on an unkempt, dirty and stinky workplace? As an office slob, the first thing you would wonder is why does it matter if your desk is messy, when you are the only person who stays there? While this could seem like a valid attitude, the fact is that an office is shared space. A report revealed that 44% of colleagues find sloppiness as the most annoying office behaviour. You cannot confine the stench to your room; neither can you prevent a vermin infestation due to clutter such as old soda cans or leftover food. In extreme cases, this behaviour could also cost you your job.

5. Being a Missing-In-Action Person

You are hardly in the office, have to take many (fake) sick leaves and always have to leave early or arrive late. A common solace that such people find is the fact that the contract is between them and the company, and not with a fellow colleague, so they feel free to do anything they want. You might also think that no-one notices you, especially when you are working for a big company- but your coworkers actually do. This habit is mostly annoying when you are jointly working with a colleague on a particular project and are always too busy, away or just don’t pay the required attention. Your colleagues get less motivated and their productivity is negatively impacted. With time, no one will want to work with you.

6. Invading Personal Space

The code of conduct and work ethics demand that one keeps a professional distance, tone and language with colleagues. Habits such as constantly popping into someone’s office in a day for no reason, close talking, use of vulgar language and an immensely inquisitive nature throws people off. This is obviously one of your best shots at ensuring people totally avoid you at work.

7. Being a Sycophant

We all need to be in our boss’ good books in order to secure a promotion or get selected for certain top notch office projects. However, the things that you would opt to do to, in order to be the management’s best employee, could ruffle a coworker’s feather. A coworker would instantly resent you if you thorw him under the bus during a meeting, take credit for work you did not do, report colleagues to the management and so on. At the workplace, the quality of work is what pays the most, as opposed to snitching for managerial favours.

8. Convening Unnecessary Meetings

Meetings are essential for an office setting to ensure that people are complying with set rules, discuss ongoing projects and plan for future developments. However, the main problem with meetings is that they are time consuming, and people have a lot to do on their desks. Therefore, meetings should only be convened when necessary and kept as short as possible. Always calling a coworker for a meeting is an unnecessary distraction that earns you the ‘certified annoying colleague’ title. Instead, it is best to avoid scheduling unnecessary meetings and employ other strategies that will help convey your message. Would you call a meeting because you think the font size of a report should be changed?

9. Spamming

Spamming has been identified as one of the most annoying problems in the internet. The internet is full of interesting information that you always want to share with everyone. While this might be fun in the beginning, persistently spamming your colleagues’ inboxes with non-work related videos, photos and social media posts will lead to resentment. An even worse case is sending Not Safe For Work (NSFW) emails, for example, sexual material. This habit only portrays you as a lazy person who spends an unacceptable percentage of his or her time to work, for unnecessary things.

See Also: Top 5 Ways to Avoid Annoying Your Cubicle Mates

Annoying your coworker would seem like a fun thing to do, but this immensely portrays your level of immaturity and ignorance. While it’s okay to be inconsiderate of others and not fully observe some work ethics, overdoing your noncompliance could lead to bad work relationships. You should always strive to make your professional relationships, not break them.

Have you ever annoyed a coworker? How did you manage to do that? Let us know in the comments section below.

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