5 of the Worst Coworker Behaviors

Real Talk: 5 of the Worst Coworker Behaviors

Most people do not realize that they have traits about themselves that are an annoyance to others in a closed setting for seven to eight hours a day, five days a week.  That one person can create distraction and poor work performance for others and they are not even aware.

I’ve encountered coworkers who, leave mess in the common areas, refuse to clean refrigerators of their spoiled food, clip finger nails, speak the first thing on their mind and do not take responsibility for their poor coworker behavior.

Of course, from a management prospective, a coworker’s behavior is seen from a different angle.  If a coworker is acting inappropriately, the dialogue should be different. Supervisors or leadership from senior members of a unit is encouraged to create a comfortable work environment for all.  If you are in an environment where there is a lack of guidance, you may have to personally prepare yourself to deal with the small working space where the following behaviors reside. 

Taking a five minute break from the setting can be a resolve to distance yourself from some of these coworker behaviors:

  • Speakerphone Coworker: 

Speakerphones were created as a hands free device for communicating while doing other tasks.  In the work environment, this tool should be used in a meeting, in a conference room, with a closed door.  Sitting in a cubicle setting is not the place to have open business conversations, it’s a distraction to the other members of the space, room and imagine all the feedback that the client on the other end is receiving.  Not professional.

  • Noisy Coworker: 

The coworker that enters the room saying good morning and doesn’t stop speaking till they leave for the restroom or lunch, return, continue talking till it’s time to say good night.  Is there a need to have something to say every single second and just because?  The noisy coworker just like the speakerphone coworker causes distraction to those that are actually trying to work.  Noisy coworkers should be motivated to a position where their talkative talents can be put to use.

  • Complaining Coworker: 

This employee has nothing positive to offer to any conversation or situation.  The sun is shining bright is a reason to complain.  This coworker can never be satisfied with anything or anyone.  The results of having a constant complainer may create a toxic work environment to others that must work directly with the employee.

  • Nothing better to do Coworker: 

From early in the morning till the end of the day, you will see this employee either chatting it up with someone else, on the phone, laughing, everything but sitting at their desk working.  This coworker appears to have nothing to do but has a pile of work that in some way impacts your work productivity.  Or in the worst case scenario, the nothing better to do coworker becomes the “where is he/she coworker”.  Anytime you need to ask them a question, they are never around.  This coworker can make a day unproductive.

  • Smelly Coworker: 

Usually management must intervene with this employee to get to the root of the issue that causes this personal issue.  Employees should not confront a coworker they feel has an odor or an excessive use of cologne or perfume.  Another type of smelly coworker are employees that insist on reheating smelly foods in the microwave and eats it at their desk creating an issue others.  This coworker is so used to the smell(s) that they are not aware that it is offensive to others around them.


Do you know of other bad behaviors that you have experienced with a coworker?  Let’s talk about it in the comments.

1 thought on “5 of the Worst Coworker Behaviors

  1. Yes, gossip coworkers are beyond annoying as this creates unhealthy work relationships. if it’s not work related or positive conversation set it aside for your personal life. This leads to tension and overall lack of productivity.

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