10 Worst Workplace Behaviors and How to Tackle Them

Email etiquette

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Let’s face it; we’ve all inadvertently broken an office code of conduct one time or the other, and our peers have been more than generous and forgiven us. But what about repeat offenses; what kind of workplace behavior does not go down well with co-workers?

While an annoying habit like ordering a stinky lunch may make one a butt of jokes in the office, serious ethics violations like stealing credit for work done or shared by others and bullying makes one a common enemy. Here we list (in no particular order) 10 worst workplace behaviors that annoy co-workers to no limits and often become a source of distress for them.

1. Being Loud-

A powerful voice must be used cautiously; when employed in a presentation in a big room with no microphone, loud voice can serve well but use it in every chance you get and it soon becomes a workplace annoyance. Noisy workers do everything loudly. They chew their food loudly and talk on the phone in earsplitting decibel, ruining every chance you have to focus on your work. So, what do you do when your co-worker makes his lunch a public announcement? Take it head on or use your headphones.

2. Eavesdropping-

Every office has one or more nosy co-workers who just wouldn’t mind their own business. Most workplaces have desks very close to each other which makes personal calls (made at desks), very public. There is only one way around this problem- do not take your personal calls at your desk and keep private conversations discreet.

3. Bullying

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Workplace bullying has superseded sexual harassment as a serious office ethics violation. In a survey conducted by Zogby International, 53.5 million Americans were found affected by workplace bullying. If you have experienced bullying or witnessed a co-workers being bullied, there are many ways you can confront it.

4. Stealing credit

Stealing credit is probably the most hated workplace behavior you may have come across in your office. Co-workers who are self-indulgent often steal credit for work done or shared by others.  Confrontation works best here. If you ask them why they behaved in a particular way and get things out of the way, chances of a repeat offense are reduced.

5. Whining

Your co-worker always has complaints. The weather is too bad! It’s too cold! The internet is slow! The chair swirls too much! The person in the next cubicle breathes loudly! The coffee doesn’t taste good! Stop it. No one likes a whiner. Next time, the whiner engages you in another one of their dull conversations, politely interrupt and ask them what’s that one good thing happening to them now. The question may astound them at first but will also give them the time of think about this nasty habit of not counting their blessings.

6. Stealing

Lunch Theft

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“Borrowing” a flash drive, a pen, a stapler to keep it forever is yet another office pet peeve that most workers are guilty of. But there is another kind of theft that is much too common around workplaces- lunch theft. The displeasure experienced when your lunch (which took half hour to prepare) finds a new stomach pit, is a great one. May we recommend an anti-theft lunch bag, or some tips from The Kitchn.com?

7. Chattering

They come to your cubicle to ask a work-related question and before you know it, the conversation takes new direction- often about personal problems, previous day’s experiences, lunch orders etc. And, it does not stop at that. They will often look over your shoulder while your work. Best way to combat chatterers, be uninteresting; turn around the conversation and talk about work; ask them to get some of your work done.

8. Being Late…Always

Late to work

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Chronically late workers disrupt everyone’s schedule. They’re late for meetings, late at work, far behind their project deadlines. Lifehacker suggests a rather fun solution to your co-worker’s tardiness; it’s called the Whiskey Rule! “If someone is late to a meeting, they have to buy their counterpart a bottle of whisky. The idea is that you punish tardiness in a way that also holds you accountable in the long run.”

9. Profanity

There are those who think a little embellishment in the way of curse words can get everyone (including themselves) through their day. It does not. Profanity has no place in the office, around management, not even in your office parking lot!

10. Personal conversations

Talking about religious beliefs, political affiliations, sexual orientation, and racial comments on more than one occasion can be awkward for everyone. It is advisable to keep conversation professional, and stay out of a private conversation when you’re not a part of it.

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