We’ve all been there…that office mate on their cell phone all the time, or the coworker that smacks their gum loudly. Some days these little annoyances are easier to handle than others. I’ve done my fair share to annoy people in the workplace (not intentionally); some people have told me straight out, I’ve overheard others complaining under their breath, heard it through the grapevine, etc. Supervisors may even be called in to address it with employees. I’m sure there are plenty of exasperating habits I possess that I don’t even realize.
This blog is NOT meant to be a manual on how to get back at your coworkers! More so, it’s a heads up on what you may want to avoid in the workplace, or at least be cognizant of, from someone who’s been there a few years.
Offending senses in the workplace can be a major annoyance. In Part 1, we’ll discuss how your ears can be friend or foe!
How to NOT Annoy: Adjust the Volume
Voices, music, cell phones.
Some of us are just loud talkers (guilty). But it is important to note that a few so-called loud talkers might not even be aware of it! So, don’t be personally offended if someone asks you to turn it down a notch.
Even if you’re discussing work, it may be distracting to other employees, especially in a small enclosed space like an office. If you are in a cubicle environment, you may need to turn down the volume. Otherwise, if there are office doors, use them! Book a conference room if available. Avoid talking on speakerphone unless you can close the door or are in a private area. If you need to keep your hands free, ask your employer for a headset.
Besides your voice, be aware of your radio or music volume. If possible, use ear buds. If an employee is responsible for answering the phones or needs to have their ears free, they may stream music on their computer or mobile device, or listen to a radio. If this is you, step outside your work space and evaluate the volume – would you be annoyed? Keep in mind that podcasts and talk radio can be very distracting to coworkers, as well as your own work productivity.
Mobile phones have made communication fast and convenient, but can be infuriating at work. There is usually someone in every workplace, with the topped-out ringtone of their favorite hair band blasting each time their phone rings. Lower the ringer volume, or better yet, set it to vibrate. If you are on a personal call that is more than a few sentences, take it to a private area (but by private, I don’t mean a restroom!). In general, personal cell phones should stay out of meetings, but understand that coworkers with dependents may need to keep the phone close-by in case the school or doctor calls.
Virtually any noise can annoy a coworker, depending on their mood and personality. You may slip on those flip-flops over the summer, not even thinking twice about the click, click sound made with your every step. Be conscious of your “noise” and be prepared to hear some feedback, maybe even adjusting your volume.
In my next blog, we’ll discuss how to annoy your fellow employees with the stinky stuff!