You're savvy enough to grasp that clipping your nails in your cubicle and sending the tips flying over the walls isn't appropriate behavior for the workplace. But you may be guilty of other behavior infractions -- maybe even without knowing it -- that drive your co-workers mad. Not only are these cringe-worthy faux pas a personal distraction to your office mates, they could be a professional distraction to your career.
Not So Smart
Using your smart phone in a meeting is a big distraction to everyone. Head down, scrolling through text messages, ignoring what is being said ... uh, not so smart. Besides, it's just plain rude. Turn off your phone during meetings. If you're honest with yourself and know you won't be able to resist the temptation to sneak a peek, leave the phone at your desk.
On the list of disgusting things people do in an office, bad food behaviors rank way up near the top. Unless you're conducting an experiment, don't leave month-old leftovers in the refrigerator to take root. And don't walk away from your macaroni and cheese melt down in the microwave for work pals to clean up, ugh!
Stop Touching Yourself
Scratching "down there" at work is uber-gross. Maybe it's just an unconscious habit on your part, but to office mates, making them think of hideous reasons you can't leave yourself alone ... reasons like an STD, lice, scabies or ... yikes, you don't bathe! Another skin-scraping offender is digging in your ears with some random object -- a paper clip, your finger or your co-worker's pen. Make an effort to break the habit, or buy some anti-itch cream!
Drama, Drama, Drama
You're entitled to a bad day -- everybody has them once in a while ... once in a long while. If you find co-workers are taking bets on your complaint-of-the-day, you can bet it's time to stop whining. Negativity is a morale buzzkill, and your boss could interpret your bellyaching as discontent for your job. So, do yourself and everyone else a favor and cheer up!
Talk of Shame
Dishing on the phone to your bestie about the romantic getaway you had with your guy while everyone in the maze of cubicles around you listens? TMI! Your co-workers do not need to hear your private dalliances or family feuds. Step outside to make personal calls, or better yet, make them on your own time in your own space.
Think no one is distracted by your constant hacking or the wad of crusty tissues piled on your desk? Stop fooling yourself! And they're not impressed with your unwavering commitment to your job, either. You're not being fair to your colleages if you come to work in a contagious state. If you're sick, take some sick time until you're back in the pink!
Based in Wilmington, N.C., Melissa Warren has been writing professionally for more than 10 years. Her work has appeared in “Our State” magazine and other regional publications. Warren holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a certificate in professional writing from the University of North Carolina in Wilmington.