Benefits of Annoying Co-workers!

“Is the annoying co-worker in your office, the person you see in the mirror?” – KenOkel.com

In life we come across all kinds of people, so it is a given that difficult people are a reality. In the workplace especially everyone just has to deal with annoying co-workers because they too abound and seem to be everywhere. They have obnoxious habits like being loud, gossip mongers, back-stabbers, attention seekers and have traits that leaves one feeling drained just from the energy that needs to be exerted to ignore them or tackle them. The quote above amply explains that if you are one of the annoying co-workers then it is probably time to take heed and stop being one. The fact is that the workplace is stressful enough and a company would do well to check these annoying co-workers and stop them before they disrupt the whole office and create a workplace that is not congenial for anyone to work leading to lowered productivity and customer service.

Management in companies cannot afford to ignore these ‘irritants’ even if they are seemingly minor. Any disruptions and irritants when left unchecked can take on colossal implications and can seriously damage the workplace environment and cause mass employee exits and in turn have customers leave your company for your competitor that has managed their ‘internal affairs’ better. We have already spoken at length about the consequences of negativity and an unhappy workplace due to disgruntled employees. This exposition is more a humourous take the kind of annoying co-workers that seem to be commonly ‘found’ in companies and how to identify them. Read on to know how many of these ‘breeds’ are in your office and whether you are one of them.

The breed of annoying co-workers is just around the corner.  Skulking in the cubicle next to you or luxuriating in a cushy corner office. They could be e-nagging you daily or plaguing you even in your dreams. That’s right, your co-workers knowingly and unknowingly have the potential to impact, annoy, inspire, and make your hair stand on end!  However, since you will be seeing them for at least 40 hours a week you might as well look at this from a divergent angle and discover the benefits!

There is no escaping, that only when all – even the annoying – work together, can the workplace be productive and successful for all concerned.  Be innovative; understand them so you know which ‘weaponry’ to swipe out to deal with whom!  This benefits you to become more affable and flexible and get along with more people despite their obvious quirks and seemingly annoying demeanor. You will also begin to realize that people who are labeled as disrupters don’t always hamper productivity or increase stress levels.  Interestingly, most of the ‘labels’ seem to be similar as you cut across and learn from people in other offices / work situations.  It is quite a formidable erudition and leads to intellectual agility!

Let’s start with the Narcissists – you know the ones who rarely listen, love to be the center of attraction all the time and have a penchant for grabbing credit from under your nose!  Still not everything is wrong with them. They are naturally charming, strong in character and can hold the attention of people.  You can benefit from observing carefully and learn to keep a strict watch on yourself to be less self-centered. Working around such a person can teach you how to get work done while ensuring your contribution is noticed along with others.

Next on the list is the Office Gossip and although this is the ‘mean’ one, they are not as damaging as you are inclined to imagine. It needs to be encouraged in so much helping to isolate the idlers making the workplace more efficient.  The ‘gossip’ warns the blasé colleague to start pulling their weight putting pressure on them to start contributing.  This talk which incidentally is a colossal 90% of all office talk allows people to validate information and also adds the necessary sprinkling of fun, laughter and solidarity.

The Slacker comes next and is the expert at working hard to get nothing done. Ever seen this person actually working – nah! The Slacker will make sure someone else is sweating buckets. How this person helps is by letting you stand out with the work you produce.  You may need to pull double your weight, but it will land you with plum projects and the resultant rewards.

No job is too big or too small for the Complainer to whine about. Whether things are slow enough to be dying of malaise or so busy everyone is going berserk, this person is sure to make you hear it. You and the others benefit from this person since you will never be the ones complaining and some real irritants would still be brought to the fore and dealt with!

Control freaks have absolutely no sense of workplace harmony. They have an opinion on everything and demand that you follow it. You benefit from this person too – you won’t need to think more than you want to and yet get some superlative ideas to work on.  Isn’t that inordinate!

The Smiling Backstabber is one of the worst to encounter and pretends to be your friend till they steal your ideas or say the meanest things about you to the boss.  Betrayal at its worst (or best)! You will very soon learn the art of keeping your guard up, your trust limited and work more effectively by avoiding such people and the likes.

The Meeting Addict calls for unnecessary and mind-numbing meetings just to avoid doing any real work. You may not be able to avoid since these are normally called for by someone in authority.

Ask to be the time-keeper and note taker at these meetings.  A great way of ‘showing’ that you are interested and also get to call the shots by keeping a strict watch on the watch!

Lastly but by far not the least important are the Workaholics, the inescapable disrupters, who survive on order and structure.  The annoyance from this set arises due to their obsessiveness for rules. Ask this person in a non-truculent way, if he / she has ever been able to see his / her kid’s school programs! When they make statements, use expressions like “Gee, that’s so insightful” and you can be sure that your excitement will goad them on to take on even your share of the work!

As you adapt to different personalities, you understand that it does not mean that you need to change or lose yourself in the milieu, but rather to stand firm, learn and share.  You understand that the seemingly most annoying co-workers have a lot to teach. You also take time to think whether you are a disrupter in some strange way and do something to remedy it immediately, making you not just a better person but an extremely liked co-worker too.

It would be crucial to remain positive and being over critical. Even though it may seem hard, it would be more prudent to focus on your feelings and refrain from engaging in confrontations. Communication and engaging with the ‘errant’ persons in a reasonable and controlled manner can increase your chances of ‘success’, with controlling your irritation towards annoying co-workers. It is quite possible that the persons in question might not even be aware that they are amongst the ‘breed’ of annoying co-workers and your reasonable and calm approach could actually help them to overcome their behavior. Also it is in your best interest that you deal with these people effectively since changing jobs will not be the answer – we started off with the premise that annoying co-workers are everywhere!

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