Top 5 Things Coworkers Argue About Now That The Elections Are Over
With the election season over, our impassioned political office debates can now move along to other less personal arguments. Soon, we can get back to the more mundane but often entertaining issues of day-to-day office life. Here are the top 5 things coworkers argue about, in case you need a refresher.
The Daily Mail reported on a poll that surveyed 2,000 workers about what caused the most disagreements in the office. You may be surprised at the results (or if you work in a traditional office, maybe you aren’t so surprised when you see why coworkers argue). According to the survey, these are the top 5 things that most coworkers argue about and we’ve given you some tips on how you can work through them.
Who Controls The Office Temperature
There is no reason for a “heated” argument over the temperature of the office, but it’s the number one disagreement amongst colleagues and it affects productivity big time. Temperature wars at the office are a real problem. If you’re looking to resolve this disagreement then all you have to do is be diplomatic. Take a poll. If the majority of the people in the office are comfortable, then it’s likely set at the right temperature.
But don’t fret. At some point technology will provide workers with more individualized workspaces. You may soon work in an environment where ventilation openings in the floor allow employees to control the temperature of the air that comes out and even the direction it flows.
Stinky office food wars
There is an unwritten rule about eating lunch at your desk. If you HAVE TO do it, make sure it doesn’t smell foul. That means, no hard-boiled eggs, no tuna fish sandwiches, etc. The list of offensive foods goes on.
If you have an office cubicle neighbor who hasn’t gotten the memo on eating at their desk, it’s important to address it. Approach them in a polite but straightforward way. Tell them that you appreciate their wish to eat at their office desk but that the odor of their lunch is disturbing you. Let them know that they are free to say the same about any of your food that upsets them.
THEN, make sure to remind them NOT to throw their leftover trash in the office waste can. They should carry and dispose of the trash in the break room. If they don’t, the smell will linger on all day.
Loud office cubicle neighbors
Coworkers argue because they can HEAR cowarkers arguing. What to do? If conversations among your colleagues are distracting you, it’s okay to be frank and let them know it’s disturbing you, so long as you’re polite. Explaining that you have an important client call to make or a looming deadline that requires your full concentration will help make your request seem reasonable.
If you have a perpetually loud coworker, don’t be afraid to bring this to their attention. It may be difficult and uncomfortable to address it but your colleague might not even be aware of the issue. They may even appreciate the fact that you’re letting them know. It’s likely that you aren’t the only one in the office bothered by it anyway.
If that doesn’t work, you can also invest in a nice pair of noise canceling headphones or ask to move your desk to another location.
Some businesses have even gone so far as to create a “quiet zone” for employees who need complete silence for focused work. Perhaps lobbying for one of these areas would also be beneficial.
Making a Mess
Everyone has his or her own personal definition of cleanliness. Some people keep their workspace spotless, while others allow clutter to accumulate on tables and even on floors.
When a person’s space is shared with many others those lackluster cleaning habits can become a nuisance. This is especially true in an office, where clients and colleagues pass through. Keeping an uncluttered environment can be difficult when you have a coworker whose definition of cleanliness differs from yours.
To bring this uncluttered mess to the attention of your coworker, you can try posting a passive-aggressive note that reads, “you mom does not work here so clean up your area”. But it’s not likely to make much impact. If the mess continues, then management may need to step in to address the entire staff about the importance of keeping shared workspaces clean.
To make the coffee or burn the pot? That is the question.
Coffee is a wonderful and magical thing. Yet, when it comes to office coffee, it’s generally pretty awful. It seems coworkers argue incessantly about all things caffeinated. Purchasing a quality coffee machine, delicious coffee, and orchestrating the two in any semblance of order is quite low on the list of priorities for most managers. Then of course you have the argument about WHO actually has to make it, clean the pot and make sure not to burn the miniscule amount left in the carafe.
If you’re fired up about getting good coffee at work you might have to shoulder the burden of being the guy or gal that makes the coffee, if for no other reason than to avoid drinking the garbage everyone else makes. If you’ve had luck with getting your boss to shell out for a thermal carafe this will make your job easier.