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Dealing with Annoying Co-Workers: The Messy and The Noisy

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Dealing with Annoying Co-Workers: The Messy and The Noisy

Here are the things that coworking spaces may share with ordinary offices: stable internet connection, a communal eating area, and — we hate to admit it — co-workers who, at times, get on your nerves.

Quest Workspaces strives to build a harmonious and productive space for all its workers, but there are moments when you come across someone with annoying habits; someone with a penchant for talking too loud or being too messy. This isn’t to say that these people are inherently malicious with their actions; their quirks and behaviors might just be a little too disruptive to your workflow. And all the office space in Boca Raton won’t help you finish your to-do list if they are around.

You face a conundrum: if you let them be, they won’t know that what they are doing is detrimental to your productivity. If you confront them, they might misinterpret the gesture and bear a grudge against you. Or worse, they’d continue doing what they’re doing.

What’s a busy worker bee to do? Here are our recommendations on dealing with disruptive co-workers.

The Noisy: Your Approach Is Crucial

The first thing to do is to ignore them.

It seems like such a passive move, but if noise-canceling headphones can block the loud stories about their vacation in Marrakesh, then there’s no need to tell them to lower down their voices. This is also the first remedy if you’re the only one who finds them noisy. Remember, different people have different noise tolerance levels.

If this doesn’t work, talk to the entire office about the noise problem. This way, nobody feels singled out, and you don’t have to blame anyone. It’s a gentle way to remind people of office etiquette. Have your co-workers agree to keep your voices down, so you won’t distract others. This might be enough to give the noisy ones a hint.

If you can still hear your loud co-workers rant about a client who paid late, then it’s time to confront him or her. Talk to them in a neutral zone — an unoccupied room or the pantry — and tell them directly how loud they are.

Expect tension and defense. Nobody likes being told they or their habits are disliked.

The key is to remain calm and allow them to save face. Point out that, it’s not just them; it may be your sensitivity to noise or your easily-distracted nature. So, would they mind using their inside voices next time, please?

The Messy: Make Them Understand that It Bothers You

It’s just the middle of the day, but your seatmate’s desk is already filled with unwashed plates and scattered documents. On the floor, crumpled paper is strewn about. On top of that, there’s a weird smell coming from his or her station that is distracting you.

In dealing with messy co-workers, understand that, like noise, people have different tolerance levels towards messes. Your co-worker may thrive on messy desks (that’s just how some people are), but if it strains your productivity, then you have to do something about it.

Start by dropping hints. When you finish eating, ask him or her if there’s anything he or she needs to put in the sink, and you’ll take them there for them. Bring the paper clutter to his or her attention (“Hey, I think you dropped that. Perhaps it’s important?”).

If that doesn’t work, then tackling the issue him or her face to face might just do the trick.

Start by saying that you understand that this is his or her ideal work environment, but it’s taking a toll on your productivity. State the problems clearly — is it the dishes, the paperwork, or the spills? Then, suggest ways you two can coexist peacefully (“You could get a document holder, then place it on the other side of your desk.”)

Co-working spaces came to be because traditional offices aren’t conducive to productivity. So, if there are certain co-worker behaviors that annoy you, you have to deal with them, so you can make the most of your time in the shared office.

For more information about shared offices in the area, contact our team today.

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