Tuesday, April 3, 2018

How to Deal with Annoying Coworkers

Have you ever worked with someone that has a knack for pushing your buttons? Maybe they have bad habits, an annoying personality, or their work ethic is just plain awful. No matter what the case, you can't wait for the day to be over so you can get away from them.

If this is a familiar feeling for you, then try doing something about it in order to save your sanity. After all, there's nothing worse than having to work eight hours a day with someone that makes you want to grind your teeth.

The following list of suggestions may provide a little bit of relief for you. Who knows, they might even help you press the reset button on your relationship with those co-workers. It's no guarantee, but it's definitely worth a try.

Find a way to ignore them

If you're lucky, you might work in the type of office that allows you to drown out the noise of your annoying coworker. Maybe you could toss on your headphones and listen to soothing music instead of being forced to listen to your nemesis. If not music, see if you can get away with an old-fashioned set of earplugs.

If distracting your eyes isn't a possibility, you might be able to physically ignore the person by moving to a different position in the office. If you work in a village of cubicles, maybe you can find a vacant one that puts more distance between you and your coworker. If you're in an open space environment, a well placed object on or around your desk can prevent you from having to look at the person as well.

Focus on a common goal

If ignoring the person isn't an option, you'll need to start working on how you interact with your coworker during the course of the day. Focus on the teamwork aspect of your job more than how much you dislike the way your teammate behaves. See if you can create a work-based goal that you can exceed together and focus less on the annoyance. You may even find yourself celebrating together at the end.

Find something you have in common

In addition to finding a common work goal, another solution is to find a common interest or hobby outside of work. You may have to dig hard, but even annoying people might enjoy some of the same things you do. Focus on those things and see if it leads to a new perspective on the person. Your common love of the local sports team might just trump how much you dislike working with that teammate.

Embrace their faults

At some point, you may just have to wave the white flag and accept that there is nothing you can do. Sometimes you just have to accept what the other person brings to the table and live with it.

Switch shifts/teams

A more desperate move is to attempt to change teams to get away from the person. Or, if you can't change teams maybe you can at least switch shifts to one that doesn't overlap with your coworker's work schedule. Your stress level may drop significantly just from no longer having to be around the person.

Be careful though! This could have a bad effect if management thinks you are being too dramatic or unable to work with people professionally.

Get a new job

This is the absolute worst case scenario, and it's only recommended if the person is creating a horrendous work environment and management is doing nothing to improve the situation. At that point, it may just be time to pack it up and move on. The downfall is there are no guarantees that your new job won't have someone annoying there too!

Have you ever had an annoying coworker? How did you manage to deal with the situation before it drove you crazy? Feel free to share your story in the comments below, or keep the conversation going on Twitter!


  1. I am so grateful that my coworkers are decent people. There are only four of us in the office plus a temp, so if we didn't get along, it would be bad.

    I have worked with those that annoyed me. I was able to put on my headphones and listen to music and do my work and not deal with them.

    1. My headphones are usually my best friend if I need a "people break". So far I haven't had to try anything else. Knock on wood...

  2. An interesting post! I've had my share of co-workers that have annoyed me and employed one or two of the tactics you mentioned here :) I wrote about horror stories from the workplace for the A to Z Challenge in 2016! Happy A to Z!


    1. Thank you for stopping by! I'll definitely have to hit your archive to read those horror stories. It always amazes me at some of the craziness that other people have to live through at their workplace!

  3. The good thing about my job is that I change co-workers every few weeks, sometimes days, so if there is one I don't get along with I know it's not for long! The downside is when you find a co-worker you really do get on with and you want to last longer!

    1. You're right, that could be a blessing and a curse! I bet you just hope for the best with each rotation.