Employees spend eight hours a day with their coworkers during the workweek. That may be more time than they spend with their families. Seeing the same people day in and day out, year after year, can build strong bonds and teamwork — or it can drive an employee nuts.
Just like a large family, most businesses likely have a few employees whom others avoid like the plague. And just like a family, they have a variety of personality quirks and annoying habits. Here are 12 of the worst kinds of coworkers.
1. The Gossip
This attitude takes its cue from writer Dorothy Parker: “If you can’t say something nice about someone, come sit next to me.”
Gossips can be poison in the workplace, driving wedges between coworkers and lowering morale. Besides spreading stories about fellow employees, they often start rumors about the company itself, such as new policies or impending layoffs. Perhaps the most destructive gossip is about clients or customers, which can come back to haunt management.
2. The Slacker
Good employees will pitch in and go the extra mile to make sure the job is done right. Slackers look out for themselves and are at their most creative when looking for ways to avoid work. They can be like professional football players who are drafted high because of their potential but never quite live up to it.
Coworkers soon resent having to not only do their own work but also cover for an unproductive team member. A proven track record always means more than potential productivity.
3. The Drama King (or Queen)
Every profession carries enough drama and stress without having to manufacture more. Watch out for workers who bring their marital, financial or health issues to work with them, and then share them around the office. Overly dramatic employees usually believe the world revolves around them and that their coworkers are there to meet their needs.
4. The Narcissist
According to Hogan Assessment Systems, a Tulsa-based personality assessment firm, 65 percent of respondents in a recent survey said they have at least one friend with an overpowering ego.
In the workplace, they are likely to be found in the break room bragging about their accomplishments on the golf course over the weekend or little Johnny’s role in the school musical. Narcissists can be entertaining, but taking credit for another employee’s accomplishment can quickly build to resentment.
5. The Whiner
Some employees are impossible to please. That’s fine, as long as they keep their opinions to themselves. Whiners are chronically unhappy and make sure everyone within earshot knows it.
Whining annoys coworkers, reduces productivity and contributes to poor morale. Everyone has complaints, but smart employees understand that they should share them with someone who actually can do something about them.
6. The Clock-Puncher
Clock-punchers may show up on time and put in a full day, but they have long since clocked out mentally. Although they once may have showed drive and initiative, now they are just doing the minimum that is required. They pass on every opportunity to improve their skills or grow in their profession.
Like a stack of old floppy disks, clock-punchers simply occupy space that could be better used.
7. The Power Shopper
Websites such as Amazon and eBay have revolutionized shopping — even in the workplace. These employees are constantly sitting at their computer and appear to be productive, until you peer over their shoulder and see them shopping for bargains. Even worse is the power shopper who brags to their coworkers about their fantastic deals.
8. The Know-It-All
Although other coworkers may be more toxic, few are more annoying than the know-it-all. Besides being an expert at their own job, they constantly tell coworkers how they can improve.