7 years of work experience, with 5 struggling in open floor plans, means that I have seen (or rather, heard) it all! I have had co-workers who could prattle at the top of their lungs, those who crunch and munch the day away, those who think it their obligation to barge in on every conversation unsolicited, even those happening in whispers, those who have a tendency to launch into a story at every word you utter (trust me, a colleague once delved into the benefits of water therapy for an hour just because he saw me filling my cup), those who type like the keyboard is their worst enemy, and even those who suffer from a bad case of leaky headphones. Try meeting deadlines and staying productive in the midst of all this chaos.
“Loud and talkative coworkers can be one of the most annoying distractions on earth — and, unfortunately, they’re pretty common in today’s workplace,” said Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of “ Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job.”
If you don’t want distractions to cloud your attention at work, you have to step up. While you may want to avoid confrontation and offending a noisy co-worker, but when you’re dealing with a protracted situation that rains over your productivity and chances of livelihood — for instance, when your colleagues jabbers distracts you from being able to compose an email or when your neighbor’s voice carries into your client phone call — you know the line’s been crossed and something must be done.
While you can’t always choose your co-workers, you can choose how you deal with them, AKA, tell a noisy coworker to shut up without making them hate you. In the Infographic below, you shall find my battle plan, where I have identified all my enemies and how to destroy them … ahem, I mean tackle them.
Here’s to no more “colleagues chomping down on apples or hearing your neighbor go on and on about what her kids did the other day”!