There’s a reason the workplace is such a common setting for movies and TV shows.
You see, when you’re forced to be in such close and regular proximity with unfamiliar people, drama is all but inevitable.
Their quirks and habits, for instance, can become irritating over time.
To mitigate problems with your fellow coworkers, it’s smart that you develop an awareness of the things you should generally avoid doing around the office.
Let’s dive in!
1) You’re chronically late
If your teammates are busting their arses, perhaps even working longer hours than necessary, while you regularly saunter in late, this is not the best look.
You might come across as someone who sees themself above punctuality–a pretty clear indicator of a lack of humility and basic respect.
Until you start actively working on your time management, expect to be scorned by many.
2) You overuse sick days
Speaking of respect, abusing sick days is another surefire route to creating ill will, particularly when your coworkers have to go through hoops to cover for you.
Unless you’re truly sick, then overusing your sick days is a big no-no and a telling sign of your commitment level to the company–and in a way, the other people on your team too.
And no, hangovers don’t count as real illnesses.
3) You don’t participate in team bonding events
Let’s face it: most people don’t want to have to work. But generally speaking, there’s no way around it for most of us, unfortunately.
Building camaraderie and friendships with colleagues is seen as a practice that makes sometimes dire work circumstances a bit more tolerable.
So when you constantly decline invitations to things like after-work dinners, team lunches, or weekend jaunts to the movies or the bowling alley, you’re not sending the greatest message to everyone.
You’re essentially communicating that you’re a bit of a snob, an elitist, one who is just a tad too good for humble team bonding sessions.
If earning respect is your goal, making appearances and being involved at these gatherings is an ideal place to start.
4) You over-share information
On the flip side, there’s such a thing as being too comfortable around your work friends.
When you develop the habit of sharing a bit too much personal information with others, whether in person or online, this is bound to trigger some feelings of annoyance and discomfort with those in your surrounding areas.
Being buddies with the folks at work can be a great thing, but there is also such a thing as maintaining an air of professionalism.
I used to work with someone who was also a chronic oversharer on social media.
Any little semblance of a thought warranted a post in her eyes.
She’d go into unsolicited detail venting about lovers, both former and current, about her self-esteem issues, about how she scraped her knee in the gym… complete with photographic evidence.
I guess it didn’t bother her that practically the entire company was on her friend list, but that feeling wasn’t exactly mutual.
5) You don’t have the best hygiene
When you’re forced to share the same physical space as others on a near-daily basis, being vigilant about your personal hygiene certainly won’t go amiss.
Work is stressful enough, nobody wants to have to smell you eight hours a day.
This can affect company morale, not to mention the judgment of your coworkers.
Remember, deodorant is but a few dollars (and a short walk to 7-Eleven) away.
On the other side of the coin, wearing pungent fragrances or colognes can backfire resoundingly by equally as bothersome and irritating as B.O.
Many people are extra sensitive to strong odors, so play it safe by being courteous.
It’s an easy fix after all: just start exercising a bit more restraint before dousing yourself with that Calvin Klein Eternity.
6) You don’t clean up after yourself
Let’s not kid ourselves: Nobody wants to have to clean up after you.
The modern workplace is for the most part a democracy, so fellow employees aren’t your serfs or chambermaids.
When you leave communal areas like the bathroom or kitchen in disarray, you’re communicating an unsettling lack of consideration for the people in your company.
Even if it’s not in your job description to be tidy, make the extra effort to throw that toilet paper in the bin or wipe down your burrito remnants off shared eating tables.
Everyone from your boss to the janitor will likely be thankful for it.
7) You’re a gossip king/queen
Office politics are bad enough as it is, so unnecessarily spreading rumors and gossip, whether true or not, is bound to disenchant your fellow workers.
Trust me, word gets around fast.
Keep this up and you’ll develop a reputation as untrustworthy.
It’s these little things that can make or break your relationships and be the catalyst for a toxic workplace.
So if you get the urge to spread a rumor, think twice–it’s almost never worth it.
8) You misuse company resources
Just because you can get away with something doesn’t mean you should do it.
Frequently using company resources like office supplies, printers, or the company car for personal purposes, is a form of freeloading.
Sure, if you need to print something urgently a couple of times this is understandable, but when it becomes a habit and people are aware of it, chances are you are thoroughly being judged.
9) You groom yourself at your desk
Look, the office isn’t your living room, and despite whatever HR says, your coworkers aren’t your family. Don’t get too comfortable.
Activities like nail clipping, putting on your face, or flossing aren’t the most pleasant sights for those in your vicinity.
In fact, in certain cases, having to witness these rituals unfold can be downright abhorrent.
For your own dignity, it’s worth making the extra effort to accomplish these things before leaving the house in the morning.
10) You’re a bit too loud
If you want to rigorously annoy the folks in your proximity, then being obnoxiously loud will often do the trick.
In the context of the workplace, having full-blown conversations at an uncomfortable volume while others are attempting to work can be infuriating.
Maybe this means constantly holding your calls on speaker or not muting your Zoom meetings; regardless, your blaring entitlement will surely rub people the wrong way.
If you have a call you need to take it, then step outside, or into an empty room.
This is common decency 101.
Oh, and if you are a desk drummer, then I’d advise you to leave the percussion-related activities for after you clock out.
Of course, what’s seen as rude or inconsiderate in some work cultures or seen as acceptable in others.
But still, as a general rule, it’s wise to start cultivating a sense of consideration for the people in your life–something that shouldn’t just be limited to the workplace.
Once you make the shift, you can fully expect the quality of your relationships to improve, work or otherwise.
You got this.