Resolving Awkward Office Confrontations

19th October 2012

We came across an interesting article from Recruiter recently, detailing some useful tips on how to resolve those awkward situations in the office. Below, we have summarised accordingly.

Working with somebody for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, it’d be a miracle if problems never arose. They always will do, but they key to solving them is by dealing with them swiftly and efficiently. Four of the most common awkward situations are listed below:

1.) Poor Personal Hygiene
Nobody wants to sit next to the smelly guy or girl in the office; but how on earth do you tell them about their problem? Try an indirect approach to avoid offense, perhaps recommend a new deodorant or cologne that you’ve recently been using. Perhaps try buying them a hamper from the team, “showing appreciation” for their work. Fill the hamper with nice smelly goods.

2.) Suspicious Web History
Most IT departments will have web filters that monitor activity, but not all of them will. If your colleague’s visiting of inappropriate websites is causing problems, confront them casually. Create a fictitious situation about an old friend who got caught and that it’s almost impossible not to. Try to scare them off.

3.) Personal Calls
This will sound better coming from colleagues, rather than superiors. Confront your co-worker about their abuse of the work phone or taking calls on work time. Remind them that it’s a team; that you rely on their productivity.

4.) Poor/Malicious Time Management
We all forget to click out sometimes, or make mistakes recording our shift patterns. But if somebody is abusing their start/finish times or extending their breaks, it can be detrimental to the entire work force. Inform a superior and have them address it anonymously to the group.


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