Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Top 5 most annoying office habits

The boss of Yahoo recently banned employees from working from home. This means a reluctant return to the Yahoo office for some of internet giant’s more elusive colleagues. Besides the obvious irony of an a web firm banning working from home when we used to think the internet would enable us all to do just that, it poses the question of what was so bad about office work in the first place. Besides the daily commute, which will figure in most white collar workers’ pet hates, it’s often our co-workers who make the office so unbearable. So if you care enough about your colleagues to make life a little more bearable for them, you can start by not doing any of this stuff.

 5 – Feet on the desk 

HSBC’s adverts a few years back claimed that showing the soles of your feet in some Eastern countries was an offence punishable by hanging. Well, actually they didn’t, but sometimes I wish that was the case. Even so, Eastern cultures are right: pointing your feet at people is rude, even if you’re a hot-shot office worker. Put them on the floor where they belong.

4 – Loud phone talk

You may be speaking to someone a long way away, but the telephone was invented so you don’t have to shout at at them. Seriously, you don’t have to speak very loud for the microphone in your phone to pick up the sound waves and transfer them to the person on the other end. It’s right next to your mouth. You should be able to whisper it and they still hear. So stop shouting. And laughing. Just be quiet.

3 – Smelly food

Kebabs, curries, burgers: The smell of anything hot is going to travel, and will annoy the hell out of everyone who hasn’t gone to the local takeaway.

2 – Staying late for no reason

If you’re not working, don’t try to get extra credit for staying late. It propagates a culture whereby it becomes the norm to stay after the end of play. This is in nobody’s interests, so don’t be the one who opens the floodgates to a culture of attrition.

1 – Unnecessary emailing

Email has its uses, of which we all know. But one of them is supposed to be that it saves everybody time, not wastes it. Nowadays a lot of office workers spend an unholy amount of time reading, filtering and deleting pointless email messages they never should have received. If you don’t need it in writing, try making actual conversation, as the results will most likely be much better and quicker. And don’t go copying everyone in, even to group messages, if all you’re doing is saying ‘thanks’.