5 things we love to hate about our colleagues

Working in a close environment is bound to have its ups and downs. We’re lucky if we get on with everyone we work with and, even if we do, there are bound to be little moments of irritation or despair.

Whilst most of these can be dealt with or ignored, there are times when small frustrations build up to become serious problems – and it’s up to both employee and employer to try and stop things getting to this stage.

It might be worth putting on some staff sessions on how to interact with others, respect their space and behave during working hours, to help show your staff that you recognise the potential issues and that your business is up-front about creating the best possible working environment.  Why not start with our list of 5 things that crop up most regularly in office niggles?

  1. Desk-creepage – there’s usually always someone whose papers, stationery, files or personal belongings start to take over the space of the desks around them. In open plan offices, it’s psychologically important that people have enough space and feel that there is part of the environment that is ‘theirs’. When someone starts to encroach on that space, it can be extremely stressful – especially if they continue to do so after being asked not to.


  1. Too much water-cooler talk – offices are social spaces, but they are mostly places of work and productivity. People who spend most of their time chatting, catching up on gossip or wandering round the office are not only neglecting their own tasks; they are reducing the productivity of other people in the office.


  1. Personal calls – we all live in a mobile age, which means it’s hard to put the phone away and concentrate on work. Whilst lots of people text or message during the day – which also has a negative effect on productivity – it’s having to listen to personal calls that is often most annoying for work colleagues. It’s best to restrict personal calls to lunch or break times and to make them outside the office environment.


  1. Jargon and clichés – a recent survey by Reed.co.uk found that the phrase “Can I borrow you for a sec?” was the most irritating phrase used in the workplace. It was closely followed by “How long is a piece of string?” and “Move the goal post”. There’s a lot of business jargon about, and it’s also becoming infused with shortcuts from text and messaging habits, so that people start to use phrases in emails like “OMG” or “LOL”. These don’t have a place in the work environment – keep things simple, clear and professional as much as you can.


  1. Temperature – we all have different ideas of the ideal office temperature. Working next to someone who likes to throw the windows open whilst you freeze at your desk is almost as bad as working next to someone who turns all the heaters up when all you want is a bit of fresh air. It’s a tricky one to resolve, and it can cause all sorts of workplace problems.


We strive to get on with our co-workers, and many businesses work hard to create a physical environment and a working culture that allows everyone to celebrate their individuality whilst also pulling together as a team. If you’d like some help building a positive culture in your business, why not contact us today?

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