6 Tips on How to Deal with an Officemate that Annoys You

28 March 2022

It’s already a given that you would be working with people you don’t like. Wherever you go, you will have an officemate that perpetually annoys you. They probably said something to you that you found arrogant. You probably had an experience with them wherein they were hard to work with. They always had an excuse to pass their tasks around. They jump from one desk to another to spread the latest gossip on the town. Even if you are the most chill person in the room, there will be someone that will irk you. There will be an office that will drive you crazy and you would wish you won’t need to be working with a small project that requires both of you to communicate.

In the famous sitcom The Office, everyone’s hated co-worker in the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin was Dwight Schrute. He was annoying, would get into other people’s noses, and be commanding even though he did not have authority over anyone. These types are not avoidable, no matter what industry you are in. But of course, they still had a saving trait; Dwight Scrute himself was quite charming when he let his vulnerable side out. So there are ways on how you could deal with an annoying officemate. We made a list for you here:

1. Be optimistic.

Let your officemate be if they are doing any direct harm to you. You are just letting them live in your mind rent-free and affect your work performance negatively. Focus on what you have to do instead of the annoyance you are feeling. You have to pick your battles and only address a situation if it blows out of proportion and you are one of the parties concerned. Remember that you can’t change anybody if they don’t want to change themselves.

2. Look for common interests between you two.

Be the bigger person and look for common ground. If you want to end a dispute between you and this officemate or there’s an office assignment that both of you need to work on together, then you establish a sound relationship between you two by looking for common interests. Both of you might not like the time that you report to the office or you both like watching the Superbowl. There is no need for you to spend time with your officemate outside of work if you don’t like but you can ease up the tension by having talk points you could chat about from time to time.

3. Don’t linger on their negative traits.

Do not give an officemate your attention if you are not required to do so or if you’re not affected directly by their bad traits. Ignore. Talk to your friends. Focus on work. Let your superior handle him or her. If they can’t shut up about something that you don’t really like, do not dwell on it and rather think about what traits of them that you do like. You will just be more irritated if you focus on what you don’t like.

4. Always choose to be kind.

Do you know what they say? It pays to be kind and that you could kill others with kindness. Don’t satisfy a bully by giving in to what they want. Don’t give them attention and mind your own business. Don’t start a conflict and choose to be kind. Let them be annoying and let others notice it for themselves. Just smile and focus on your job.

You could also come from a place of understanding. They may be annoying because of something that happened in their childhood. They might have grown in a hostile environment or there may be problems at home that have molded them the way they are. You won’t try to be their therapist but at least looking at their humane and vulnerable side would help you understand their behavior.

5. Don’t show you are flattered with their attention.

If for instance this annoying officemate of yours is showing interest in you and is pestering you in any way, be calm and decline politely. You may hurt their feelings but don’t be guilty because you did your part in declining. For even the most extroverted, if you don’t have any interest to engage, don’t fake it because you might end up hurting them more than you intended. Let them be.

If it is during work time, then tell them kindly to respect your space and that you could only talk to them about questions related to work. You could help them stay away from your workstation by putting up a sign.

6. Be assertive.

If for instance, you think you’ve reached your boiling point, then it’s time to take action. If you’ve already reached your boiling point, then it might be time to take action. Every person has his or her limits and they’ve unfortunately reached them. Let your co-worker know what the problem is. Don’t mince your words and be strictly professional. Let them know every behavior of theirs that has been affecting your work. Talk to your higher management if this escalates into a conflict.

Be in control of any situation by controlling the way you respond to it. You shouldn’t let anyone drag you down and your focus must always be on work.

Tip: Divert your attention from your annoying officemate and focus at work by using ergonomic furniture from FlexiSpot. Ask permission from your office to bring your own desk bike to work, use a height-adjustable standing desk, or an ergonomic chair. Declutter your workspace to cool down. Use desk organizers and mobile cabinets to help arrange your items in an organized manner.