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Workplace

11 Cool Out of Office Tweets We Can Relate To

By | Featured, Workplace

Summer. It’s quite possibly the best time of the year for taking a sunny, sand-filled vacation here in Egypt. With two major beach destinations—the North Coast and Red Sea—we are not lacking in beautiful getaway destinations. We all need time to disconnect from work to maintain a healthy work-life balance. One of the most satisfying feelings is putting an Out of Office (OOO) status message right before you ride off into the sunset.

Here are 11 of the best tweets about being Out Of Office for you to draw inspiration from.

1. For those of us who can’t wait to start the vacation

@WriterSweeney

2. That one person who is prepared for anything

@evincent32

3. For those who have their priorities straight

@Eloisa_Amezcua

4. This OOO reply is the gift that keeps on giving

@rcohen

5. The OOO reply that fulfills our love of emojis

@hugosmartypants

6. The feeling you get when your vacation starts

@eedwards_nyc

7. For the person who doesn’t want to be contacted…ever

@toddedillard

8. For the one with the unapologetic attitude

@davidmackau

9. For those who dream of never-ending days of summer

@newlook

10. And, here’s the drama-queen version

@notallbhas

11. For those who have much time on their hands

@rick_city

Share with us in the comments what your out of office reply will be for the upcoming holiday season.

Don’t Do THIS at your New Job!

By | Career Advice, Featured, Workplace

A new job = a plate full of new challenges. This is what I discovered during my first month here at WUZZUF.

Although I tried to leave a good impression and stay away from trouble, I realized that some mistakes are inevitable. Those pesky, relatable, first-month mistakes.

The following are what you should not do at a new job:

1- Not knowing who’s who!

What I did:

I kept asking my new colleagues for their names every time I saw them the first 2-3 days (and they kept asking for mine).


Memorizing the names of new people is hard for a lot of people. But as the newcomer in a company, you want to leave a good first impression by remembering at least the names and positions of the people you meet.

What to do instead:

Almost every company now has an application where every employee’s name and title are listed. Use this to familiarize yourself with your colleagues and what each of them does. (Bonus: This is will also help you understand your new company’s organizational structure better.)

If the company doesn’t use such an app, then ask your manager to give you an overview of the different teams in the company and their members and take down some quick notes. This method lessens the stress of meeting your colleagues for the first time.

READ ALSO:  7 simple ways to improve your emotional intelligence

2- Not aligning myself with the company’s way

What I did:

I had always thought that doing things my way is how I can impress my new colleagues and boss. That’s why I neglected to take a good look at the policies and processes of the company, which caused a lot of clashes when I started work.


As the new member of the team, you want to prove yourself very quickly, which is understandable. But don’t go about doing it in such a way that will slow everyone down and cause confusion.

What to do instead:

Before you work on any task, make sure you know everything about how you should approach the task and how your team works. Follow and align yourself with the company’s values, culture, and voice mindfully. 

Moreover, don’t be afraid to suggest new ideas on how to improve the process, workflow, etc. This is how you add value to your new job and also impress everyone around you.

READ ALSO:  Tough Call: Analog or Digital? Which one really works?

3- Hesitating to ask for clarifications and details

What I did:

I isolated myself, unaware that asking for help is necessary in my case. Thus, I kept all my questions to myself. Projects kept getting complicated and I kept missing deadlines because of the passive state I was in.


It’s expected that you won’t know everything right off the bat. So don’t be afraid to look for answers to your questions about anything and everything when you’re just starting.

What to do instead:

If you like to find out answers on your own, then at least don’t start diving if you don’t know how deep the water is. Find the most experienced coworker around and ask them to mentor you for a while. Ask for detailed emails/slides/documents where there’s full coverage of what you need. The more you ask, the less you wonder.

4- Rushing to prove myself

What I did:

When I first started, I was in such a rush to prove myself that I overloaded it with tasks and projects. I didn’t even have time to understand the background and what has been already done in some of them. I definitely bit off more than I can chew and the result was low-quality output and major frustration when I was asked to start from scratch on some of the tasks.


Again, it’s understandable to want to leave your mark and showcase what you can do rapidly when starting a new job, but taking on every task you come across is not the way to do it.

What to do instead:

Sit with your manager to set a plan that makes delivering the tasks you have actually happen. Discuss with them weekly, monthly, and annual goals and expectations. You can also always use project management applications such as Trello.

5- Not communicating with my new boss

What I did:

I was very hesitant to approach my boss about some questions I had regarding my role, team dynamics, and the context of the work. This created some confusion and misunderstandings those first couple of weeks.


One of the hardest parts about the first month at a new job is communicating with your new boss. You want to impress and establish a rapport with them, but you think this won’t happen if you keep asking a lot of questions.

What to do instead:

Don’t assume anything. It’s your right to ask your boss for any kind of help you might require at first. The fact of the matter is this: asking for help shows you’re willing to collaborate with your boss and coworkers and also lends you credibility.

READ ALSO:  How to find social impact beyond your job title

6- Letting networking eat up my time

What I did:

Being a people person has an ocean of privileges yet socializing with people around the office as a new employee took up a lot of my workday. Consequently, I burned the midnight oil trying to meet every deadline.


This problem arose from a lack of balance between my needing to make new connections and my haste to stand out.

What to do instead:

The first two weeks or so are all yours so you can get to know everyone and leave the door open for a good impression in what comes next. But don’t waste further time and let your work speak for you.

7- Being ashamed of my slow progress

What I did:

I was worried that I wasn’t good enough or that I wasn’t working hard enough because I was slow in getting comfortable with the new processes, culture, and so on. I absorbed everything, yes. But it took a while to fit in and handle the work at hand smoothly.


This adds to the other sources of pressure one has to deal with when starting a new job.

What to do instead:

Don’t compare your progress with anyone else’s. When it seems like everyone’s learning and progressing faster than you, that is because they’ve had a head start on you. If something seems effortless now, it’s only because it took a lot of hard work, dedication, and experience. As long as you’re making progress, you’re good, because slow and steady always wins the race.

8-Not setting boundaries and expectations

What I did:

What confused me the most was whether I should always be nice and cooperative and take extra work or refuse it politely and focus on what I have at the time? Finding the balance between both took me quite some time that I could have invested more wisely.


Compromising on your boundaries or values to seem friendlier or to show that you’re a team player isn’t a strategy that can hold up for long. You’ll soon start to burn out and this will take its toll on the quality of your work.

What to do instead:

Learn how and when to say no firmly but politely. Make sure that your manager and teammates are aware of your current workload. And understand that if you don’t set your own boundaries, no one will do it for you.

READ ALSO:  How to take ownership of your work the right way

Any other mistakes you made during your first month at a new job? Share with us in the comments section below.

Here’s why you should not miss work Iftar?

By | Featured, Managers, Team Culture, Workplace

Corporate iftars are more than big group selfies, where you are barely seen. Iftar and similar events have several positive long-term impacts on you and your co-workers. We have done our research on the topic and asked our expert who is responsible for all our Iftars at WUZZUF every year, Aya Waheed, HR manager of WUZZUF.

Work Iftar can break the ice

Teammates talk and get to know one another

One of the reasons that may draw you back from attending this kind of iftars merely is that you are still a newcomer and you don’t feel that you belong there yet. Even if you have been there for a while, you may still not get along with the team, and all you can do is to keep things professional. You would rather instead to spend this time with your family or friends. But this should actually motivate you to make it to the iftar, which is actually a great chance to get to know and deepen your relationship with your coworkers.

Aya Waheed, HR Manager at  WUZZUF, encourages newcomers, introverts, and the ones who cannot mingle with the team yet to attend iftars and other social events, pointing out that:

“Throughout my experience, I realized how chemistry arises just like magic in fun ambiances, away from daily work stresses, even if it never worked before.”

Chemistry arises just like magic in fun ambiances, away from daily work stresses, even if it never worked beforeClick To Tweet

Time to forget past disagreements

bitter disagreement between big fingers

Even if you used to have a strong relationship with your colleagues, things are not always as good as they are supposed to be.

The conflict might be over already, but you cannot just forget a coworker’s angry words in your last disagreement, or how your manager wasn’t supportive enough when you had a difficult time at work. But this iftar is a great opportunity to heal what time failed.

Don’t fall for resentment as it is counter-productive to blame people you meet every day for a thing that has already passed. It will be exhausting for you and everyone around. Your hard feelings may stop you from doing your job as passionately as you used to be. Meeting in a fun event, with all Ramadan spirit around, can be an ideal chance to leave all the disagreements behind and regain the good old days.

Eating Together is a key to bond

group of people sharing one dish

Iftar events are different from other fun events. Sharing a table, eating together, practicing Ramadan traditions together are engraved in our conscious minds as family activities. In her book Eating Together, Alice Julier argues that people tend to feel more equal when they dine together, despite their differences regarding race, gender, socioeconomic backgrounds. When such barriers are broken, people build stronger bonds as family members do.

Scientifically Proven: eating with teammates makes you a better professional

The team bonds

Believe it or not, science encourages you not to miss work iftars too. A recent study, led by Assistant Professor Kevin Kniffin at Cornell University, interviewed 395 supervisors at a large city’s fire department, asking them to rate the performance of the platoons they work with. By the end, they found out that platoons who eat together got high-performance ratings than the ones who do not.

Kniffin argues that “eating together has a long, primal tradition as a kind of social glue.” This generates a kind of familiarity and friendliness among team members. It helps professionals perform better, especially when they have to work together.

If you are one of those who prefers to eat individually, this Iftar is the opportunity you need to kickstart the tradition of eating with the tribe, if not for bonding with your team, then for your career.

Make “work” friends

coworkers laugh and chit chat

Everybody has their own personality, and it is okay if you are a shy person or prefer to keep it professional at work.  But in an Iftar event, you have all the space to let the funny you out.

If you are not a friend with your teammates yet, an iftar is an excellent opportunity so you can socialize and discover shared interests with your co-workers, not necessarily the ones you work with every day, but also members of other teams, with whom you don’t get the chance to chit chat very often.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of being lost in the crowd, because you will definitely find someone who has the same interests as you.  

Know the real values of your company

Team discovers newest updates

Iftar events are typically organized once a year; therefore, they are usually big and festive that the members of all the company offices, branches, departments, and sometimes some of the company’s guests and partners are invited. It is a not-to-miss opportunity to network with the big family of your company and people who share your passion in this business. Aya Waheed, HR Manager at WUZZUF, highlights that in such events, professionals usually realize how massive their company is, and they start to gain more confidence and loyalty for their respective companies.

Iftar is the opportunity you need to kickstart the tradition of eating with the tribe, if not for bonding with your team, then for your career.Click To Tweet

Still Anxious to go?

If you still feel anxious to be among large groups, even if you are convinced that you should not miss such big event, try to deal with your anxiety and doubts, and here are some tips to help:

  • Don’t be tempted by the big gathering, in a 2-hour-or-so event, there will be probably activities and plans that will help you blend.
  • Identify the reasons why you don’t want to go and address them logically.  For instance, if it is due to a disagreement you had with a co-worker last month, remind yourself that you can easily resolve the conflict, during a no-work event.
  • If possible, take a shower before you head to the gathering. Slightly longer hot baths can help you relax and wind down.
  • If you are still anxious, try some relaxing exercises to minimize your anxiety; deep breathing, yoga, meditation, or even a 2-minute workout.
  • If breathing or exercising is not your thing, or you don’t have space or time, relaxing music can help too.
  • During the event, encourage yourself to approach your colleagues and start general conversations. Talk about the latest social media trend, the show everybody watches or the match everybody awaits. Don’t stay alone on the corner, it will make you feel more detached.

 Now the anxiety is gone, just put on one of your favorite and comfortable outfits and be ready to spend a memorable time with your big family.

____

What motivates you to make it to your company’s iftar? Share your opinion with us in the comments below.

open offices

Tough Call: Open offices: Do they REALLY work?

By | Expert Advice, Featured, Managers, Team Culture, Workplace

The debate of open offices vs. closed ones has been a hot topic for years. And even though a definitive conclusion in favor of either has never been reached, open offices have somehow become the norm.

These days, you can find open offices everywhere, regardless of company size or industry. But does this mean they’re good for us?

We’re going to consider many workplace factors and evaluate if each is a Pro or Con in the case of open offices. Feel free to skip to the ones that interest you the most.

Company culture and office relations

This is an important factor. When all employees of a company, managers and managees alike, share the same open space, disadvantages of organizational hierarchy bear no leverage on relations among employees. If you share the same physical space with your manager and your manager’s manager, everyone is more likely to become friends than they are to just remain boss and employee.

This is important in creating a sense of community and belonging. The whole company would be one big team working for the same purpose. And that is something almost all majorly successful organizations count on.

Open offices are said to improve office relations, but is that completely true? #NoMoreOpenOfficesClick To Tweet

All of this does happen but to an extent. But what actually happens is, as recent research confirms, that working in open offices actually makes workers less social. This is a direct result of the abundant distraction and continuous lack of privacy in the open office as we discuss later on. As employees try harder to focus and get work done, they tend to work from quiet places in the office (inevitably making the choice of who gets to use them a matter of dispute), work remotely if possible, or most of the time isolate themselves in their own bubble with headphones on. So much for better office relations!

Gains: Better relationships are automatically built within a company.

Losses: These relationships take their toll on productivity and work quality.

Final evaluation: Con

 

Communication

open offices informal meeting

Open offices make communication much easier. Instead of wasting time writing long emails and scheduling and attending formal meetings, employees can just talk. For example, when GlaxoSmithKline, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, moved workers from cubicles and offices to open-plan work tables, “email traffic dropped by more than 50%, while decision making accelerated by some 25% because workers were able to meet informally instead of volleying emails from offices and cubes,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

The flip side of this is the incessant interruption. Think about it. You wouldn’t be able to give any task as little as 25 minutes without a colleague asking you about the status of that last report, an important question, yes, but obviously not important enough to lose your train of thought over.

Gains: Communication and hence decision-making are more efficient.

Losses: The never-ending communication negatively affects workplace productivity.

Final evaluation: Con

 

Cost

open offices save cost money wallet

Let’s be very clear here: open offices cost less. The fewer the walls a company has to put up, the less the money it’ll spend. The company will also spend less on office equipment (employees can just share the copy machine and printer), and a central cooling and heating system which is cheaper is just the icing on the cake.

Gains: The company saves a lot of money.

Losses: The money saved might just be paid somewhere else, but we’ll get into that later.

Final evaluation: Pro

 

Productivity

Another very important factor is productivity. The main function of an office is to enable people working in it to do great work efficiently. So how did open offices do regarding this?

It turns out productivity in open offices takes a big hit. The situation is even more drastic when the work is of the creative nature or if an employee can function with only a limited amount of stimulation around because they’re introverted.

Relentless noises and their effects, difficult-to-block visual distractions, constant interruptions (both external and self-interruptions), complete lack of privacy, and decreasing personal space negatively affect employees’ attention span and focus, resulting in loss of an average of 86 minutes every day according to research from Ipsos and the Workspace Futures Team of Steelcase. This translates into less output and lower quality and that’s a huge cost for any business to bear.

Gains: None.

Losses: Impaired productivity at the employee level directly leads to impaired performance across the whole organization.

Final evaluation: Con

 

Well-being

open offices stress well being stressed man

Not being able to do work at the office only adds to other sources of stress at work. From having to deal with loud colleagues all the way up to office politics, the list of stress sources at the office goes on, meaning employees’ emotional well-being is at a greater risk at open offices.

As for physical well-being, it’s only a matter of time till stress-related problems start to impair employees’ health. And if that doesn’t do it, that colleague who caught the flu last week and kept coming to the office anyway will certainly get the job done. Research confirms this by showing that employees working in open offices are 62% more likely to take sick days. All this does is aggravate the already-serious issue of impaired productivity.

Gains: None.

Losses: Impaired employee well-being affects productivity negatively and hence leads to impaired performance across the whole organization also.

Final evaluation: Con

 

Number of employees

With fewer walls comes more space. This means more people can fit into the same space, a plus if the company is quickly expanding. We will discuss later whether that affects employees’ sense of their own space and their control over it.

Gains: The company can fit a huge number of people.

Losses: A crowded workplace is not ideal for productivity or well-being.

Final evaluation: Pro

 

Supervision and monitoring

There’s no doubt that monitoring employees is much easier when they’re all sitting in one place with their manager and that could actually improve performance. But we have to ask, is this the kind of employees we can trust with work, the kind that’s only working because they’re being monitored? A smart employer knows better.

open offices supervision monitoring employees

On the other hand, an employee with very high self-motivation and sense of responsibility would interpret this as lack of trust. In an anonymous survey by William Belk with more than 700 respondents from different industries, the results indicated that 58% of high-performance employees (HPEs) need more private spaces for problem-solving and 54% of HPEs find their office environment “too distracting.”

And a creative employee would be restricted. According to Ethan Bernstein, an assistant professor at Harvard Business School, creativity decreases in open offices because people who feel “watched” take fewer risks and therefore innovate less.

The result: An employer could be turning off great employees and missing out on their exceptional work.

Gains: Open offices enable much easier employee monitoring and supervision.

Losses: The company could lose great employees and miss out on their great output.

Final evaluation: Con

 

Personalization and employee control

Open offices mean the same work environment for all employees. This means the same temperature for everyone, same furniture for everyone, and same view for everyone. So employees in this case completely lack the ability to personalize their workspaces. They cannot adjust the temperature or arrange office furniture the way they want. They also have no control over the mess and clutter of other people or even the overlapping smells of coffee and food.

An employee’s perceived lack of control around the office has been shown to affect well-being and also productivity. It all keeps coming back to decreased productivity, doesn’t it?

No employee control = no good output. #NoMoreOpenOfficesClick To Tweet

Gains: None.

Losses: The sense of individuality is completely lost in the open office environment and that directly hurts work performance.

Final evaluation: Con

 

Workplace and work satisfaction

Dr. Vinesh Oommen, from the Queensland University of Technology’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Australia, along with a group of Australian scientists reviewed recent studies into open offices and found that feelings of insecurity, a lack of status, and a high turnover rate were found in open-plan offices. Overall, workplace satisfaction was lower than in closed offices. Also, perceived job performance was lower in open offices.

Gains: None.

Losses:  Lower overall satisfaction in open offices has been scientifically proven.

Final evaluation: Con

 

The only conclusion we can reach here is that open offices don’t live up to all the hype surrounding them.

 

So why do we still have open offices?

Our guess is that because all major and infamously successful companies like Google and Facebook have them. These companies present great models to follow but that doesn’t mean what works for them works for everyone else.

Open offices do help with socialization as well. There are also the factors of cost and number of employees. Open offices are still much cheaper. And not only can they accommodate a larger number of employees, but they also promise ease of expansion.

But we find ourselves wondering: is that enough?

We don't need to blindly follow in famous companies' footsteps. #NoMoreOpenOfficesClick To Tweet

 

What can we do about this?

Till the powers that be are convinced that open offices just don’t work, here are some solutions that can help fight against all the disadvantages.

  • Taking into consideration work type

Don’t make your writers and your HR people, for example, work in the exact same environment. The former require quiet, focus, and mostly individual work to tap into their creativity while the latter require a lot of teamwork. So a company should match the workspace with the work needs.

A company can also ask the employees which they prefer. At least this way, only a fraction of the people will not be satisfied instead of almost the whole office.

 

  • Establishing hybrid offices

open offices hybrid

This is a great solution that a lot of companies have already implemented. Hybrid offices combine the benefits of both open and closed spaces. This model includes all your usual shared bullpen spaces while also including some private meeting rooms, quiet areas, and isolated cubicles. This way everyone at the office has the chance to choose where to sit depending on the task at hand.

In such case, providing company-wide communication tools (e.g., Workplace, Yammer, etc.) can help in making communication easier without negatively affecting the work itself.

Hybrid offices make it possible for employees to choose where to work. #NoMoreOpenOfficesClick To Tweet

 

  • Offering flexible work options

open offices remote flexible female working coffee shop

This is the global trend nowadays and we here at WUZZUF follow it, so except for the 20% of employees on whose jobs smooth workflow depends (office admins, finance, etc.), the major 80% of WUZZUF employees are offered flexible options.

Offering the option to work remotely or choose one’s own hours can help a lot in alleviating the pain of having to work in an open office. It empowers employees and gives them control and that directly reflects on their work.

 

  • Establishing rules and signals

open offices rules no stop red traffic light

If your company doesn’t follow any of the above and you’re stuck working in an open office, then establishing rules and signals is your answer. Agree with the people you’re sharing a space with on certain rules, like

  • silent hours,
  • headphones on = please don’t disturb,
  • phones in silent mode at all times.

 

We’ll leave you this final thought: We don’t know if you dislike open offices as much as we do, but here’s to hoping open offices die out soon.

Do you agree with the pros and cons we mentioned? Tell us what you think and let us know about your experience working in an open office in the comments below.

loud colleague quiet silence deal solution

Office Drama: How to deal with a LOUD colleague

By | Break Room, Managers, Productivity, Skills Lab, Team Culture, Uncategorized, Workplace

If you know your coworker is having lunch with a second cousin in two weeks after a doctor’s appointment because you heard them arrange all this over the phone, then you have a problem. You have a loud colleague.

We all know these people. You can hear their voices walk into the office before their feet do. Having a loud colleague only adds to the noise you already have to deal with at work, and that can affect your performance, motivation, and productivity.

How noise affects us at work

  • Noise increases stress

loud colleague stress

Research has shown that exposure to loud sounds and noise in general increases our blood pressure, heart rate, and the level of stress hormones in our bodies. This issue is even bigger if you’re an introvert or a highly sensitive person, who is not comfortable with even the slightest of noise or movement around you, or if you’re working in an open-plan office.

While the debate of open-plan offices versus closed ones or cubicles has been hot for a long time now, everyone agrees on the fact that open offices are definitely noisier, which is not good news because they’re the norm nowadays.

  • Trying to block the noise takes away from your energy

Recognizing all the noises around you and actively seeking to deal with them require effort and energy. This means you’re not 100% focused on the work task at hand; instead, there’s a part of your brain that’s exerting effort and using up your energy to help you stay focused. That’s just one more task added to your to-do list, isn’t it?

  • Noise affects productivity

loud colleague no work no productivity

This is a big one. Being constantly surrounded by noise affects your productivity. A task that normally takes an hour could take you double that because you’re trying to ignore everything happening around you and to muster the focus to complete your work.

This effect is compounded when you’re working on a creative task or one that requires dealing with numbers. Research suggests that prolonged exposure to noise impairs proofreading, mental arithmetic, reading comprehension, and serial recall, among other things. And if we can’t be productive at the office, why do we go there in the first place?

If we can’t be productive at the office, why do we go there in the first place? #DealWithOfficeNoiseClick To Tweet

  • Noise affects both our motivation and ergonomics

A study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology found out that stress affects both motivation and ergonomics, which is the study of people’s efficiency in their working environments.

Employees who worked in noisy environments were “less likely to make ergonomic, postural adjustments.” This indicates inevitable physical damage. The same study also found decreased motivation in employees in noisy environments and fewer attempts to tackle difficult puzzles. This means you would be physically and mentally exhausted at work, and that can only negatively affect your productivity and job satisfaction.

So now that you know all the effects of noise in the workplace, you’re probably ready to deal with at least one of its contributing factors.

How to deal with your loud colleague

Let’s agree right from the start that no one can change an office environment on their own. That’s why we’ve split these solutions into things you can do on your own and things in which you’ll need to involve management.

What you can do

  • Talk to your colleague directly but politely

loud colleague talking privately

The most obvious and straightforward way is to directly talk to your colleague. Make sure you pull them aside and discuss the issue clearly but politely. Bear in mind that they might not even realize they’re causing trouble to anyone, and you don’t want this issue to strain your work relationship with that colleague going forward.

  • Ask your manager to speak to your colleague

If you find the previous solution too confrontational, you can always ask your manager to speak to your colleague about the issue. Point out to your manager the negative effect this has on your productivity, and your manager will surely rush to your help. After all, your manager wouldn’t want your output to suffer. But be very careful not to speak ill of your colleague to your manager. That would only make you look unprofessional.

  • Use noise-canceling headphones

loud colleague noise canceling headphones

You can also try to block out the noise by using a pair of noise-canceling headphones. Listening to music while you work might actually increase your productivity. But not all kinds of tasks can benefit from this. Also take into consideration that this is only a stopgap. Prolonged use of headphones can cause hearing problems.

  • Find somewhere else to work

If all else fails, try to find some other place in the office to work, maybe a quiet meeting room or an unused office.

  • Make sure you’re not overreacting

A good point to keep in mind through all of this is to be certain you’re not overreacting. You could be stressed by other things at work and this loud colleague just had the misfortune of being the last straw. You might be too sensitive to noise or too tired that particular day. The important thing is that you shouldn’t project any of this when dealing with the issue and you should keep matters separate.

Make sure you’re not overreacting. #DealWithOfficeNoiseClick To Tweet

What management can do

  • Discuss the matter with the whole office

You can always ask for someone from management (e.g., an HR member) to speak to the whole company about the issue. This way, you don’t point out the specific loud colleague who’s bothering you. And a bonus benefit is increasing the awareness of the whole office because some people are not even aware this is an issue, let alone that they’re part of it.

  • Designate a quiet area

loud colleague quiet area office

Your company can get inspiration from us here at WUZZUF where we have a quiet room designated for focus. This area is complete with a door sign that outlines the Quiet Room rules. This way everyone can have a suitable place to either escape the noise or just have some alone time to complete a certain task.

Likewise, there should be designated meeting rooms or spaces for work that requires collaboration. This way the team handling such work doesn’t feel limited or restrained either.

  • Match the workspace with the work needs

A room full of journalists working on their latest articles for the next issue of a magazine or a newspaper should be different than a place where a team of HR people is discussing the best ways to improve learning and development inside the company.

Your company should ensure that every team member is working in a space that suits the nature of their job. So, in the previous example, the journalists should be working in a quiet, closed room, where what’s outside the room has no leverage on their work. And, likewise, the HR team should work in an open-plan office where collaboration and back-and-forth communication are easy.

  • Implement policies that prohibit noise

loud colleague office rules stop

Depending on your company’s culture, there can be policies set in place that dictate the rules of the office. Whether it’s having to put your phone in silent mode or being required to take calls outside the office or not take personal calls at work at all (unless it’s an emergency), company policy can help in putting a limit to the noise around the office.

Just remember: You have to take action and not just accept this as reality. Considering we spend a great portion of our lives at work, we all have the right to be comfortable there.

Have you had any experiences with a loud colleague at work? How did you handle the situation? Let us know in the comments below.

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