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15 things you’re doing in the office that are irritating everyone

Every young professional wants to leave their mark on the office – just make sure it’s a positive one. If you’re annoying or distracting others, it will take its toll on the positive work environment and may even get you into trouble. Be a memorable employee for the right reasons and avoid these bad office habits:


1. Talking too loudly

An office or co-working environment is a space for achieving work goals, not broadcasting what you did over the weekend. If people around you are chattering, it’s definitely OK to partake in quiet conversation, but do be aware of your noise level whenever you’re in a working environment.


2. Excessive humming or singing

If you quietly hum or sing a couple of stanzas to yourself occasionally, that’s fine, but anything beyond that may be perceived negatively by others. If there’s a chance that your office mates will be annoyed by your arias, save them for the park, the shower, the opera… anywhere else really.


3. Engaging in long phone calls

Step outside if you’re having a long conversation over the phone to avoid distracting the office.


4. “Replying all” when it isn’t necessary

Avoid becoming office enemy #1 by NOT “replying all” unless it’s 100% absolutely necessary. Just don’t do it, guys.


bad office habits


5. Raiding the fridge

Don’t make your office hire a private investigator to solve the case of the missing yogurt. Don’t eat any office fridge food that isn’t yours and stay on your coworker’s good side. If something is labeled “take one” or “for the team”, feel free to dig in, but just your share.


6. Being overly nosy

It’s one thing to be curious and friendly and quite another to be sticking your nose into other people’s personal lives. It’s OK to ask questions about your colleagues, but steer clear of prying too much.


7. Sucking up

Being friendly and competent is wonderful, but people will judge you if you’re giving sugary compliments to the boss every day. Earn your positive favor by working for it and your colleagues will respect you.


8. Leaving a mess

The office is a communal space that must be kept cleaner than your personal space. Make sure to keep tidy when you’re at work and clean up food messes, disorganized paper work, etc.


9. Showing up late

Rolling into work or a meeting after everyone else is disrespectful, disruptive and reflects laziness. It can happen every once in a while, but don’t let it become a habit or you may earn a reputation that will make it harder to get a good recommendation or a full-time position.


10. Interrupting

Wait for your turn to speak. If you didn’t learn this one in Kindergarten, you better learn it now.


11. Playing music

If you want to jam out, do it with headphones in, please. Make sure that you’re playing it at a reasonable volume. Hearing the crackly mumble from headphones when the music is too loud is equally as irritating for surrounding colleagues.


12. Over-sharing strong political opinions

In an office, it’s generally a good idea to keep your political ideas to yourself unless they are directly solicited, particularly if they are controversial.


bad office habits


13. Obnoxious eating

Smelly or noisy foods shouldn’t be eaten in the office as they can be a distraction and draw negative attention your way. Avoid eating at your desk, unless you see many other employees doing the same. Make sure to always pick up any crumbs when you’re done.


14. Not washing your dishes

Someone is going to have to wash that grimy coffee cup and you better believe it’s you. Your dishes are your responsibility, don’t get caught leaving them out for others.


15. Changing the thermostat without considering others

It’s one thing to pump up the heat when everyone is complaining about the cold. But if it’s just you that’s uncomfortable with the temperature, put on a sweater. If it’s too hot, drink a nice, cool ice water.


Apply today and boost your career with an international internship (just make sure that you avoid these bad office habits)!



Photo 1. by Elizabeth Trovall

GIF 1:,

Photo 2. based on Eat!, by Joshua Rappeneker, CC-by-SA 2.0

Photos and blog by admin

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The International Internships Blog is a collaboration by The Intern Group staff, alumni and current participants to give you career advice & tips, program information, & so much more!