7 Sins of Working in an office

Seven Sins When Working In An Office

Being a full time worker, I tend the find that the majority of my time is spent in an office. The office is almost like your home away from home, you make your desk your own and the people you work with become like a second family. There are many good things about working in an office, including the feeling of achievement when you all hit your targets for the month or the sense of belonging on a work’s night out.

But there are a number of cardinal sins that can make you… well, let’s say not too popular… if you do them on a semi regular to regular basis.

1. Eating smelly food.

Whether it’s smelly fish, cheese or even freshly baked bread (if that’s what you like to take to work!) you can guarantee someone in the office will dislike it. I made the mistake of taking in Broccoli and Stilton soup to work the other day and only realised once I had heated it up just how stinky it really was. It was nice though…

So make sure you stick to plain, boring foods to take in to work. That, or, make sure you have a private room that no one will mind you stinking out for a while.

2. Taking in cakes in January, when everyone is on a diet.

It’s funny how a number of these sins are based around food – I’ve come to the conclusion that, as good as food is, it has the potential to bring out the worst in people and no where is that more prevalent than in the office.

Think about it though, how would you feel if you are on a strict “no eating junk” diet and someone brings in a plate of home-made, chocolate coated, calorie loaded cupcakes and shoves them under your nose? If you are anything like me, you have the self control of a magpie (I can’t think of something that has bad self control so this is the best you’re going to get) and cave at the first sign of pressure. And that’s it… there goes your diet and all of the planned weight loss with it.

3. Stealing your neighbour’s favourite pen… and not giving it back.

People can be very possessive over their stationery. Don’t mess with another person’s stationery.

Just don’t.

4. Making a cup of tea for yourself and no one else.

Another food and drink related one. If you are making yourself a cup of tea then it is common courtesy to ask others if they want one as well. Of course, this does depend on the size of your team and how your company deals with this kind of thing.

I mean, if you have a team of 30+ you’re not going to expect one person to make tea for everyone. But in smaller teams it seems to be the trend that whoever goes for tea, offers it round to the rest of the team and then regrets it afterwards.

Either that or do what I do and never make tea for anyone.. even yourself.

5. Talking to someone whilst they’re on the phone.

Guilty as charged. In my defense, it is very difficult to tell when someone is on the phone using a headset. You look at them for a second or two and they aren’t talking, so you assume they are free. You start talking and then find out that, in actuality, they are listening to someone give a rather long and important monologue on the other end of the phone that you are now interrupting.

I’ve done this so many times now that I’ve started asking people “Are you on the phone?” before saying anything else. They don’t answer, they don’t get talked to – simple as that.

6. Tapping your feet or humming in a quiet office where everyone is trying to concentrate.

Picture this. You’re sat in the office on a really important deadline day and everyone is working really hard to get things finished on time. The office has been pretty much silent for the past half an hour and you are feeling bored and a touch awkward. You, subconsciously, start humming a song whilst working to keep yourself entertained and start getting in to it a little.

Next thing you know, you look up and everyone is staring at you and has been for the past minute. Humming is something that is so easily picked up and carried out absentmindedly, and yet seems to be one of the most annoying things possible to someone who is trying to concentrate.

My advice, find a quiet private office, set yourself up there and sing to your hearts content. At least you can’t annoy anyone there.

7. Typing on your keyboard really loudly.

There are two different types of keyboard typers. The first is the group of people that touch type, lightly pressing the keys on their keyboard and swiftly moving on to the next – typing up full documents within minutes and never making a significant amount of sound. The second group of people are people that feel the need to hit their keyboard as hard as possible when typing (me included) getting a little overexcited as they go and making it sound like there are actually 50 people typing in complete synchronisation all in the same corner of the room.

The problem is that the sound of a keyboard tapping can be an incredibly invasive sound – particularly if you are using a mechanical keyboard. In the past, I have been known to tap away at my computer at night and wake the kids up with the noise I am making.

My top tip for all of my fellow noisy typers out there – test your keyboard out in the shop before you buy it. Aim to buy one that is a soft touch type keyboard and that doesn’t make too much noise when you press the buttons. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.

So those are some of the ultimate sins that I have experience (and occasionally been guilty of) whilst working in an office.

What annoys you most when working in an office? Is there something that you are guilty of that you know annoys everyone else?


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– #FabFridayPost linkup on the Ethan & Evelyn blog.


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