Every office has that annoying co-worker, but what if that annoying co-worker is actually you? Have you ever stopped and thought about how your actions and more likely reactions could be frustrating your officemates? It's easy to complain and pass on the blame. Instead of pointing the finger elsewhere, think about what you could do to clean up your act and your desk while you're at it.
Lower the volume
You might not notice this, but you could very well be the loudest person at the office. Do you take personal calls at your desk? Who doesn't? If so, lower your voice and keep it under 5 minutes. When we chat with people we're comfortable with -- like friends and family -- we tend to raise our voices which also irritates the rest of the open office. Plus, no one wants to hear about your dermatologist appointment, latest Match.com date or messages from your building's super. While we're on the subject, turn your personal phones to silent, keep speakerphone use to a minimum, lower your headphones and be respectful of your shared environment.
Smell ya later
Sure, the Chicken Masala is calling your name but the smell of that lunch lingers for days. If you happen to have a craving for lox and bagels, tuna fish or any other overly pungent food – go out and get it. Eat your mid-day meal in a park or at the restaurant. Your colleagues will thank you. If you absolutely have to order a particularly overpowering food at least toss your trash in the kitchen garbage and not at your desk. Nothing is worse than smelling day old curry.
Dialing into a conference call can be one of the most frustrating office tasks. Half the time you either receive an error message, echo or a series of loud beeps. Here's a tip, regardless of if you planned the call or not – call into it 15 minutes beforehand to test it out. Let the organizer know if you are having any trouble. Over half the invites I am emailed end up being faulty. You lose valuable time when this happens – especially if you are chatting with people on tight schedules. If you're still not convinced, tune into this hilarious parody on conference call etiquette that hit the internet waves last month.
Texting at meetings
Using your phone during a meeting is one of the top ten rudest things you can do at the office. Your behavior tells the room that you do not respect them which is why you are diverting your attention to your smart phone. Even if you are answering work emails – they most always can wait until the end of a meeting. If they absolutely cannot – let your co-workers know you are expecting an email or call prior to the start of the meeting to excuse any distracted behavior.