Am I Annoying at Work? 21 Common Bad Habits And How to Improve

Someone being annoying at work.
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With the amount of time we spend with coworkers and managers, itโ€™s inevitable that we may develop some bad workplace habits. 

And with an average of 2,000+ working hours a year, itโ€™s common you may do things to annoy your colleagues or be annoyed by others. Although most likely unintentional, itโ€™s good to catch on early that you might be irritating those you work with every week. 

So if you start to get negative vibes from coworkers, you might want to ask yourself if you are being annoying at work. Below I dive into a few bad work habits, common signs that coworkers are annoyed with you, and tips to improve your behavior.

21 Bad Habits That Are Annoying Coworkers

Here are a few common bad work habits that are most likely annoying your coworkers. These are traits you might also find annoy you as well in the workplace.

1. Procrastination

Delaying tasks until the last minute can lead to rushed and lower-quality work.

2. Being Very Disorganized

A cluttered workspace and lack of organization can lead to wasted time and increased stress.

3. Weak Time Management

Poor time management can result in missed deadlines and increased stress.

4. Frequent Tardiness

Being late for work or meetings shows a lack of punctuality and professionalism. And can frustrate your teammates and manager. 

7. Ignoring Feedback

Disregarding feedback from colleagues or superiors can hinder personal and professional growth. Plus, it shows you arenโ€™t willing to take feedback well or constructive criticism. 

8. Negative Attitude 

A consistently negative attitude or complaining all the time can bring down team morale and harm relationships. And it can really start to annoy your coworkers. 

9. Gossiping 

Spreading rumors or engaging in office gossip can damage trust and reputation. No one likes a gossiper. 

10. Poor Communication

Failing to communicate clearly and effectively can lead to misunderstandings and conflict. Whether that is not responding to requests, providing project details, etc. 

11. Always Requesting Favors

We all ask for help or favors once in a while at work. Thatโ€™s okay as long as itโ€™s not frequent and youโ€™re willing to support those whoโ€™ve helped you. But repeatedly badgering people to prioritize your needs is a quick way to become annoying. 

12. Taking Credit for Others’ Work

Not only is this annoying, but claiming credit for work you didn’t do can harm your reputation and damage relationships.

13. Producing Sloppy and Careless Work

Consistently producing work with errors or lacking attention to detail can damage your reputation. And you team may get annoyed with you if you keep making mistakes they have to fix.

14. Not Giving Others Your Attention

When your colleagues are presenting or talking on a meeting, you should be paying attention and listening. If you start doing other work or ignoring them, it’s a great way to cause your coworkers to be annoyed with you.

15. Eating Food With Strong Odors at Your Desk

We all need to eat lunch, but if you eat at your desk often then it’s important to be mindful of the food you bring. Strong odors like fish, eggs, onions, etc. can bother those around you.

16. Being a “Know It All”

Acting like you know everything, correcting or interjecting others to sound superior, or trying to outdo coworkers will ensure they see you as annoying.

17. Always Bragging

Just like someone being a “know it all” a constant bragger is just as bad. It’s okay to be proud of an accomplishment, but know the difference between a share and telling everyone constantly about it.

18. Bringing Your Personal Problem To Work Often

Sure, you may share some personal things with coworkers as part of being social. But bringing your random personal problems to work can quickly begin to frustrate your colleagues. Oversharing often will annoy those you work with.

19. Being Overly Nosy

Curiosity and asking simple questions is okay, but badgering coworkers, managers, or snooping around for intel is not professional.

20. Soliciting Volunteers or Donations

Although you may mean well, this can actually annoy people as they may feel obligated even if they want to say no.

21. Too Talkative

Socializing and having “Water Cooler Conversations” can be good for connecting with colleagues. But being overly talkative can be distracting and annoying.

Bad Habits That Are Annoying Remote Coworkers

While many of the previous sections’ annoying quirks can apply to remote work, there are also other annoying habits that happen remotely. 

So if you are a remote worker, monitor some of these signs and work on them to ensure you all get along virtually. 

Not Communicating Clearly and Thoroughly

Working remotely requires communicating well to be successful getting projects done and working with colleagues who might be distributed around the world. 

Distracting Coworkers With Too Many Messages 

While communicating is incredibly important, you need to find a balance. Constantly messaging colleagues’ questions, bulky paragraphs, or constant non-work related items can be very annoying. Plus distracting from the work at hand. 

Constantly Eating On Camera During Virtual Meetings 

Unless for a โ€œlunch and learnโ€ or you all agree that eating is okay for the meeting (and you go on mute as you chew), this is highly annoying. 

Sending Direct Messages Outside of Work Hours

If there is an emergency, it’s one thing to send a message outside working hours. But respect coworkers personal lives

What Research Says

There was a UK study done of 1,000 professions that listed these as the most annoying WFH behaviors. There was some nice overlap to the common ones Iโ€™ve come across too. 

  • Slow responses to emails or direct messages while online (61%)
  • Background noise on video calls (60%)
  • Eating on camera (59%)
  • Scheduling too many video calls (56%)
  • Muting and unmuting video calls at the wrong times (53%)
  • Scheduling video calls when phone calls would suffice (53%)
  • Sending direct messages outside of work hours (52%)
  • Answering a phone call during a video call (51%)
  • Working on something else during a video call (51%)
  • Asking people to turn on their cameras for video calls (50%)

And in a different survey of 1,900 U.S. workers, some key findings around what remote workers find annoying included:

  • 48% said slow responses to e-mails or instant messages
  • 47% said background noise during video or phone calls
  • 43% said eating on camera
  • 40% said muting and unmuting at inappropriate times
  • 39% said sending messages outside of work hours

10 Signs Your Coworkers Are Annoyed With You

We all have a few bad habits from time to time in the workplace (whether in-office or working remotely). Most people will overlook a work faux pas here and there, since nobody’s perfect.

But you could unintentionally be annoying people with many bad habits. Here is a few common signs that signal coworkers find you annoying.

Avoidance

If coworkers are actively avoid interacting with you lately or go out of their way to steer clear of you, it may be a sign they find your presence annoying.

Minimal Communication

When colleagues start giving you short, one-word answers or curt responses, it could indicate irritation with you.

Exclusion

If you notice that you’re consistently left out of group activities, meetings, or social gatherings that others are invited to, it may suggest that coworkers are annoyed with you.

Lack of Eye Contact

A lack of eye contact during conversations can be a sign of discomfort or annoyance. If coworkers avoid making eye contact with you either in meetings, when you try to talk to them, or in general โ€“ it might be worth investigating why.

Changes in Body Language

Negative body language cues like crossed arms, sighs, or eye-rolling can indicate frustration or annoyance. if you notice this frequently happening to you from coworkers, then they are annoyed by you for some reason.

Frequent Interruptions

If your coworkers frequently interrupt you or talk over you during meetings or discussions, it could be a sign that they’re not valuing your input or are irritated by your contributions.

Short-Tempered Reactions

If colleagues react with impatience, frustration, or anger when you ask them questions or request assistance, it’s a clear sign that they might be annoyed by you.

Gossip or Complaints

Ironically, gossiping about others will be perceived as an annoying trait. Yet it also can signal a coworker that is gossiping about you is annoyed with you. And similarly, if a coworkers is complaining about your behavior to others, it’s a significant indicator of annoyance.

Decline in Collaboration

When coworkers stop seeking your input, advice, or assistance on projects, it may be because they find working with you to be challenging or irritating.

Excessive Criticism

If you receive an unusually high amount of criticism, even for minor mistakes or issues, it could be a sign that coworkers are using criticism as a way to express their annoyance.

How do I Stop Being an Annoying Coworker?

Stopping yourself from being an annoying coworker is essential for maintaining positive working relationships and creating a peaceful work environment. 

And wanting to improve your professional interactions is a great step in self-reflection and improvements. Here are a few ways you can ensure you arenโ€™t being annoying at work anymore. 

Practice Active Listening 

Often, annoying coworkers are those who don’t listen and constantly interrupt others. Make a conscious effort to listen actively when your colleagues are speaking. Wait for them to finish before you respond, and show that you value their input and perspective.

Respect Personal Boundaries

Give colleagues personal space and set boundaries. Avoid invading someone’s workspace without permission, and respect their need for privacy. If someone seems busy or not in the mood for conversation, don’t push for interaction.

Be Mindful of Noise

Loud conversations, constant phone ringing, or noisy eating can be disruptive. Keep your volume in check and use headphones when listening to music or taking calls. Be considerate of shared spaces, especially in open-plan offices.

Be Punctual and Reliable 

Annoying coworkers can often be unreliable or constantly late for meetings and deadlines. Show that you value your colleagues’ time by being punctual and meeting your commitments. 

  • If you’re running late, communicate it in advance.
  • Be accountable when you are late, no excuses. 
  • Find your system that keeps you on task and reliable. Whether thatโ€™s notes, calendar reminders, etc. 

Practice Good Hygiene

Hate to write about it, but practicing good personal hygiene is important. A lack of grooming and cleanliness can be a common annoyance to coworkers if you work in close proximity. 

Additionally, you coworkers can get really annoyed by strong perfume or colognes. Lastly, keep your workspace tidy and organized.

Manage Your Interruptions 

Avoid interrupting colleagues when they’re busy or engaged in a task. If you need to speak with them, ask if it’s a convenient time or send a quick message to schedule a meeting.

Offer Help and Be Supportive

Build positive relationships by offering help when appropriate and being a supportive coworker. Collaborate with your team, share knowledge, and lend a hand when someone is struggling with a task.

Your team and manager will respect you more and know they can rely on you. 

Ask for Feedback and Make Improvements

Sometimes, it’s hard to recognize your own annoying behaviors. Don’t hesitate to ask for feedback from your coworkers or supervisor. 

Constructive criticism can help you identify areas where you might be causing annoyance and make necessary improvements.

Final Thoughts

Remember that strong self-awareness and empathy are key to avoiding annoying behavior in the workplace. 

If you notice that coworkers suddenly interact with you differently or any of the other signs from above, take action to assess the situation.

If you let it fester for too long, it might be harder for you to change the narrative and regain trust in the workplace.

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About Todd Kunsman

Todd is the founder of Remote Work Junkie and has been featured in numerous publications like Business Insider, HuffPost, CNBC, and more. Heโ€™s been a remote work advocate for close to a decade and has been working remotely full-time for 5+ years. Heโ€™s also a marketing, personal finance, and music nerd ๐Ÿค“

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