Apr 21, 2024

Annoying Office Habits: 6 Behaviors That Make People Tick

Blog post about Annoying Office Habits

Annoying Office Habits: 6 behaviors that make people tick

Work is demanding. In addition to managing work assignments, individuals must also navigate everyday situations beyond their expertise. Cultivating and maintaining good relationships, and behaving professionally, are examples. Interested in fostering an environment where everyone is considerate of others? Keep reading to learn how to curb annoying office habits.

Making it work at work

Working remotely has reduced the need for employees to contend with annoying office habits and allowed them to customize their own work environment. However, hybrid workers divide their time between both settings. To maximize the value of your time spent in the physical office, it's crucial to reflect on your actions and their impact on others.

In shared spaces, everyone should respect each other to uphold high levels of productivity and motivation. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. Let's identify some of the worst habits that make people regret coming into the office.

1. Talking too loudly

No, Beth, we don’t want to hear about what you did last summer or your new coffee maker.

Employees who take personal phone calls and speak loudly are considered to be exhibiting annoying habits.

This rule applies to basically any kind of interaction on the phone. Salespeople may need to close deals and sometimes become fully engaged. However, there are meeting rooms and designated spaces for that purpose. Please be considerate of your co-workers.

In addition to daily chatter, other noises such as clicking pens, mumbling, groaning, and giggling can be irritating.

A solution to this problem is to bring noise-cancelling headphones or find a different workspace, even temporarily. Stick around for more tips to follow.

2. Showing up late

Time is precious. People typically have tight work schedules during the day and are not interested in waiting for that one co-worker who is perpetually late to meetings. However, it's common for meeting participants to struggle with time management and not allocate extra buffer time between meetings.

Showing up ten minutes late or not at all not only disrupts the flow of the meeting but also communicates to others that their time is not valued equally. Besides the practical implications, tardiness demonstrates a lack of character.

When a meeting is scheduled for one hour, it implies that there are important topics on the agenda that need to be addressed for everyone to achieve their goals. Everyone needs to be there, on time.

In all fairness, unexpected delays in traffic and such are sometimes beyond our control, but they shouldn't occur regularly.

The rest will just have to suit up!

3. Eating smelly food and creating a mess in the kitchen

Everyone has different food preferences, and some co-workers prefer to grab a proper lunch in the cafeteria or at a restaurant downtown, while others bring their own lunch box. Unfortunately, not everyone has the courtesy to eat in the break room; instead, they sit in front of their screens and devour yesterday’s fish stew.

The problem is: it smells.

Another pet peeve in the office linked to lunch is leaving a messy kitchen behind. A sink full of plates and cups can make people's tempers flare. Additionally, some tend to "borrow" other people’s food or the last cup of coffee without making a fresh pot. Enough to start a riot, right?

4. A bad attitude

Negativity. We don’t like it, but still, love to vent. The problem is that what feels good for you could annoy someone else. It's so easy to spill your guts about the latest reorganization at the firm or the tasteless coffee, kind of like scratching a mosquito bite. After a while, this kind of gossip tends to get old. Constant complaints disrupt other people’s workday and affect their mood negatively, especially when the problem remains and nothing is done about it.

Rule #1: Don’t be a complainer. It’s simply not constructive.

Besides specific habits, there are also certain personality types that we find annoying in the office. No one likes a coworker who doesn’t support their team members and tries to piggyback off someone else.

There are also certain personality types that most people find irritating and even intimidating. You might have met the nosy or lazy one. Some take the opportunity to text about private matters for a prolonged time, do online shopping, or book private trips. And don’t forget the bully or the Mr. or Ms. Know-it-all. Talking over your coworkers and responding with sarcastic put-downs rubs people the wrong way. They might also comment on other people’s appearances or pose intrusive questions.

Another runner-up is the steamroller that dominates conversations in meetings and makes hasty decisions without informing people.

5. Lack of hygiene and grooming

Sure, everyone is entitled to their own style and grooming habits, but skipping showers and showing up with scruffy clothes is not a good look, and it does bother people. It’s often on the list of annoying office habits.

Some people may also be allergic to a certain cologne or fur and find it troublesome when people don’t respect their wishes. Showing up with a severe cold and sneezing repeatedly is also a nuisance.

These matters are, of course, a bit complicated, and bringing up the issue in a warm and respectful manner is recommended. Some people are not aware of their strong cologne or loud chewing.

6. Not mastering the art of digital communication

Virtual meetings are important in the hybrid office and require a different communication style. Most of us hate being interrupted, but in a physical meeting, people can more easily engage in back-and-forth conversation and utilize non-verbal communication.

An online meeting requires us to be more patient and for the speakers to be more direct. Layers such as in-jokes, sarcasm, and banter are peeled off to a greater extent. On the other hand, one advantage is that the actual issue or topic will receive undivided attention.

When we are in a meeting with colleagues, there are some annoying habits that get to us the most:

  • Not muting background noises
  • Interruptions by family members (including furry friends)
  • Working on something else during the meeting, such as answering emails
  • Acting unprofessionally, lying on a bed or sofa and not getting out of comfy loungewear
  • Dominating the conversation

Technical issues sometimes get out of hand, but if a colleague repeatedly has the same issues, it can be extremely frustrating for the team.

Emails are in a league of their own. Many would agree that some employees simply do not understand basic email etiquette. Responding to mass emails and bombarding co-workers with emails are unbearable. A badly written email without a thoughtful subject line, poor grammar, and structure is usually frowned upon.

Flowscape care about your work environment

We're all about the hybrid office and facilitating a friendly and flexible office environment through our streamlined office management tool.

Desk bookings are made simple with the help of an app. We make it easier to choose a seat next to your own team members. This means that people working on the same task can group together, which likely creates less friction.

Another advantage is the possibility to easily book a meeting room in advance. If you're really looking to close a deal over the phone or brainstorm loudly, you won’t disturb other people in the office.

Thanks to the app, you can also see which spaces have high occupancy during the day and avoid certain desks during peak hours.

It is, of course, everyone’s responsibility to act professionally and treat coworkers with respect, but sometimes we need a push in the right direction.

Create awareness and take action

Increased awareness about different habits and attitudes that create friction in the office is truly an advantage for the entire company.These kinds of topics can be discussed in daily or monthly meetings. By addressing the problem before it escalates, less office gossip will spread about annoying co-workers. If you are interested in learning more about office culture, please find our in-depth article about meeting etiquette.Space managers benefit from seamless booking processes and by analyzing space occupancy and office layout with Flowscape Analytics. Obstacles will be removed both at an interpersonal and organizational level for increased happiness at work!

Want guidance on how to set up your hybrid office for success?

Feel free to schedule a meeting with one of our product experts to learn more about our solutions and how technology can help you streamline your office processes without interfering with employees' day-to-day work.

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