12 sins you may be committing at work

Tribune Content Agency

We each spend roughly 90,000 hours of our lives working. If you have pleasant co-workers, this time can be a breeze. But if you sit next to an emotional basket case, a selfish jerk, someone who coats herself in cloying perfume or a guy who can’t stop bragging about his accomplishments, your time at your job can be hellish.

We all should step back, take a look at ourselves and ensure we aren’t doing anything that’s irritating. Here are 12 of the most common offenses in the office — some more serious than others, but all worthy of inclusion in the hall of shame.

Talking incessantly

Part of the joy of work is getting to socialize with professional adults. You’re jazzed about a new project, your kid had a great play date, you watched an interesting documentary, someone sent you a crazy email, your boss did something super weird — not all of this must be verbalized. Learn when to chat and when to be silent and work. You don’t need to be the town crier.

Talking loudly on your cell

Cellphones have invaded every aspect of our lives and, at work, they can be especially distracting and annoying. If you need to take a personal call, do so away from the people around you. Find a quiet area and allow your colleagues to continue working in tranquility.

Tattling on co-workers, calling them out

Tattling on co-workers is one of the worst things you can do at the office. You will develop a horrible reputation and you could endanger someone’s job. If there’s a problem, you should address it with the offender to allow him or her to make changes, presuming this is not a serious HR-related issue, of course. Another no-no: calling your team members out in front of others. If you need to have a conversation because someone screwed up, do so in a private office.

Not respecting boundaries

It’s very important in a professional office to respect everyone’s boundaries. That means no impromptu shoulder rubs, no feet up on someone else’s desk and no close talking. Learn to read non-verbal cues. If someone is leaning away from you or not making eye contact or moving away from you, you likely are being annoying.

Making offensive remarks

Be aware that you share space with others and be respectful of everyone’s differences. Don’t make comments about someone’s physical appearance, sexual orientation, religion, race or gender. This should go without saying in the year 2018, but sadly, some people still aren’t getting the message. When in doubt, don’t say anything. You will never be in trouble for that.

Taking credit for others’ work

We’ve all worked with people who were gunning for others’ jobs and trying to get ahead by any means. These people often stab others in the back and take credit for others’ work, and that is reprehensible. Focus on yourself and making your work shine. That will speak for itself.

Being negative about everything

Oh, the downer co-worker. She is angry about everything and can’t wait until a meeting is over so she can make caustic remarks about everything the boss said. She also is quick to throw cold water on other people’s ideas and never has a kind word for anyone. If people avoid you or look deflated when you start speaking, this may be why.

Being the TMI guy

It’s always a good idea to maintain an aura of mystery around co-workers. Not everyone needs to know your personal business. Keep your marital discord, your weird sleep habits, your excessive alcohol consumption, etc., to yourself.

Interrupting others

If you find yourself always waiting to speak instead of listening to someone, you have a problem. Learn to stop yapping and give the person who has the floor your full attention. You may even learn something.

Being lazy

Lazy employees make more work for everyone, and that makes the team angry. Pitch in and do your fair share, and even offer to help someone out when he or she is in a jam. You will feel good about yourself and will earn appreciation.

Eating smelly food

Leftovers are wonderful. Smelly leftovers, such as fish or garlic-laden pasta, typically are only wonderful for the person who is consuming them. Think about your co-workers when you are heating up that bowl of last night’s fish chowder. Also, be sure your food doesn’t sit in the fridge for weeks, and don’t burn your microwave popcorn and fill the office with noxious black smoke.

Always consuming, never contributing

In every office, he lurks, waiting to take the last few slices of pizza, use all the communal half & half, grab a giant slice of cake and drain the coffee pot and not make a fresh batch. Worse, he never contributes to the office candy jar or the sacred Taco Tuesday fund. Don’t be this guy.

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