Do you have a coworker who constantly disturbs and perturbs your focus at work everyday? Is he/she currently driving you insane? Relax, you are not alone. At some point in your career journey, there are good chances that you will encounter an annoying coworker who keeps bugging you when you are trying to do your job properly. What should you do to cope with it, then?
In every workplace, there would be at least one person who love: delivering hate-speech, talking loudly, spreading baseless rumours, wasting time with his/her unnecessary stories, or other obnoxious behaviours. While these things might seem trivial, this could be the beginning of bigger problem when it happens too often that then it affects the team’s performance. For example, you might end up wasting hours to hear irrelevant drama or gossip shared by your coworker. Even when you do not join the them, you will find it difficult to focus on your task when your coworker chats noisily at the cubicle next to yours.
The truth is, such condition will never change and even become worse unless someone decides to tell the person about their bothersome behaviour. However, dealing with this type of coworker is not that easy, as the wrong method of criticising will bring you to a whole new problem instead of solving the previous one. Read on to find out the best way to deal with this kind of people:
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Keep your distance
When you have identified which coworkers tend to exhibit bothersome behaviours in the office, it will be better to not to be too close to them. Getting closer to them could mean that you open yourself to accept and normalise their habits. This does not only bring the risk of decreasing your work performance, but also affects your personal reputation when other coworkers recognise you as part of the ‘noisy group’ the workplace. Not to mention, things will get worse when you realise that you have turned to share the same habit as theirs.
Confront in subtle way
Using the task or ongoing project as an excuse to escape from a vexing coworker could be the best way to confront him directly. When your officemate starts telling you about unnecessary topic that has nothing to do with work, you can reject him by saying, “It sounds interesting, but can you save me that story for lunch? I’m in a tight deadline now”. Another way to avoid disturbance from your coworker is by telling him the truth using humorous approach. For example, when your coworkers are talking loudly, you can say, “Guys, can you turn your volume down? Your conversation makes me want to type your topic instead of my monthly report, haha.”
Have a proper talk
If the subtle ways do not work, then you can try to tell your annoying coworkers by inviting them to a more serious talk. You can invite them for a coffee talk and ask his feedbacks for yourself, both in terms of individual behaviour and work performance in the office. Then when you offer him to give your feedbacks for them, you can tell the truth about his annoying demeanor. You can say honestly that his loud voices often disturb your focus, or that his gossipping hoby is dangerous for the team’s stability.
Ask for help
Make a report to your HR officer about the annoying coworker could be the last resort when you cannot handle them by yourself. Going to HR could be the best move when your direct criticism is ignored. When telling the HR, all you need to ask is about how this problem will be addressed, and not merely about how the person will be disciplined.
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