Skip to main content

10 ways to lose friends and alienate coworkers

Getting on your coworkers' nerves can make your work life miserable.

10 ways to lose friends and alienate coworkers

The people you work with can make a bad day better. They can even make a less-than-thrilling job tolerable. However, if you get on the bad side of your coworkers, they have the ability to make your work life miserable.

Read on for some surefire ways to test the boundaries of your on-the-job friendships.

Eat Stinky Snacks

You may be the most likeable person in your office, but your popularity will definitely take a dive if you begin bringing in overly aromatic foods. If your lunch involves microwaving anything containing fish, leave it at home.

Make Endless Meeting Requests

Learn how to determine when it's absolutely necessary to schedule a meeting (and for whom attendance is absolutely necessary). A tendency to request too many meetings will irritate your teammates as well as making it look like you cannot move ahead on a project autonomously.

'Reply to All' -- All the Time

Don't make your coworkers' lives more complicated by hitting "reply to all" on every single email. Also, if you have a beef with the author of the email, don't air your grievance to the entire recipient list. Discuss your problem face to face.

Pump Up the Volume

Be aware of the volume of your voice, as well as how loud you listen to music. Avoid using speakerphone unless you're behind closed doors. Also, check the volume on your computer the next time you watch a video on YouTube. The content could be offensive to a cube neighbor.

Be the Office Boozehound

Socializing with the people you work with can be great for business. Make certain, though, that you keep a close eye on your alcohol consumption. Your coworkers will definitely lose respect for you if you start slurring your words or, worse yet, falling down.

Take Super-long Lunches

Every now and again, it's fun to take a leisurely lunch with your coworkers. However, if you do it every day -- or even every week -- people will notice and probably grow resentful.

'Borrow' Magazines or Newspapers

If you're a Brangelina watcher and your colleague's issue of In Touch arrives announcing their separation, you may be tempted to take it. Instead of snatching up the magazine, deliver it to the recipient and ask if you can browse through it when he's done with it. If you cannot wait, buy the magazine yourself. After all, tampering with the mail is a federal offense.

Use Your Manager as a Referee

It is inevitable that you are going to clash with your coworkers from time to time. Resist the urge to seek support from management in every instance. Rather, try to problem-solve yourself -- it could help you gain important managerial experience.

Avoid Attending Company Gatherings

Not everyone looks forward to these events and, in fact, some folks avoid them altogether. This isn't good for your career or your work friendships. You're missing out on bonding with your work buddies, whether it be over a silly scavenger hunt or an ant-infested picnic. Your coworkers will begin to take it personally if you never participate.

Always Have the Last Word

When you do have the inevitable disagreement with a colleague, it's important to make your point. This doesn't mean you always have to have the last word. Learn how to voice your opinion and move on -- and let someone else have the final say once in awhile.

Back to top