Annoying Co-Workers and How to Deal with Them


For most people, work involves working with other people. Unless you work from home, you’re going to have to deal with the annoying, hateful or downright disgusting habits of the people with whom you work. While you might not be able to make them go away, arming yourself with the knowledge of who you might encounter could make them easier to bear. Here are a few types of co-workers and how to deal with them.

The Stinky

  Working in the company of other people means you tend to get close. Sometimes it’s too close for comfort. Whether it’s wearing too much cologne, consuming garlic pills or sweating out the remains of last night’s booze fest, sitting in a cubicle next to a stinky co-worker can make your work time hard to handle. The solution: move desks or have a private conversation to let them know you’re sensitive to strong odors and are having a hard time concentrating. 

The Brown Noser

No one wants to get in bad with their bosses. The average person will greet their boss warmly each morning or wish them a happy birthday when that big day comes around, but the brown noser takes it a few steps further. The brown noser will show up with a gaggle of balloons, a box of the boss’ favorite chocolates and a hot coffee on the boss’ birthday. Don’t compare yourself to this person. Your best bet is to do good work; a good boss will notice.

The Gossip

There’s at least two of these in every office. There’s the one who spreads the rumors, and then the one who listens with rapt attention. If you’re really unlucky, your workplace is populated by a handful of gossips who will kvetch about every move of every co-worker in the place. What to do about it: don’t friend them on Facebook or other social media sites, and avoid telling them ANYTHING personal. It could come back to bite you. 

The Bully

Lumped in with the gossips are the bullies that unfortunately show up in most workplaces. Once again, give them as little fodder for ridicule as possible, and never let them know you’re bothered by them. Bullies lose interest when you don’t give them the attention they crave. 

The Lazy

Some annoying co-worker habits are simply conflicts of personality; others will actually affect your work. The lazy co-worker is one of those who can actually make the work you do harder, since they’re likely to let you pull their weight whenever humanly possible. What to do about it: don’t be a pushover. Politely and professionally let this co-worker know what you expect of them and don’t bail them out. If it gets bad enough, bring your concerns to your boss. 

More: 9 Kinds of People We Meet in the Office

The Annoying

From slurping coffee in an obnoxious manner, crunching chips loudly or telling bad jokes, the annoying little habits of the people in your close vicinity at work are many. Sorry to say friend, but these are the marks of being human. Chances are the way you tap your foot while writing an email or how you sigh when you arrive at work are habits that set your co-workers on edge too. In other words, deal with it. 

The Old Timer

The long-suffering employees of any company may be the darlings or the banes of the boss. On one hand, they know everything and can keep the workplace running smoothly. On the other hand, they know everything and will let everyone know it. While it can be really annoying to hear them go on and on about the perfect way to fold a shirt, recognize that you could learn something from the old timers in your workplace. Chances are they’ll be there when you’ve moved on, so along with a bit of patience, give them a dose of compassion for suffering through the long years at that dead-end job you’re planning to ditch at the first opportunity.

The main thing to remember when dealing with annoying co-workers is to stay calm no matter what. Do your job well and make sure you really focus on your tasks, not your co-workers. How do you deal with your annoying co-workers?