3 Simple Solutions for Common Office Conflicts

by PM Today / 6/20/2019 2:51:26 PM


There are always going to be a few conflicts in the office from noisy people to arguments about who stole who’s milk. For lots of office workers, the pettiest of disagreements punctuate the day and can lead to more serious arguments.

However, most of the common office conflicts are usually quite easily solved.

Who Cleans the Kitchen?

If you want to start an argument in an office, you should leave a dirty mug in the sink for more than 24 hours. Cleaning is always contentious because while some people are quite happy to wash their stuff up, others would prefer a rota, some managers think they are above it and some wise people think that office cleaning should be left to the professionals.

While a rota might help to ease up the arguments about whose turn it is, rotas can be difficult to police. A better idea might be to write cleaning the kitchen into someone’s contract. An office manager or another member of junior staff would be ideal for this and it should only take 10 minutes at the end of the day.

Colleagues Aren’t Getting Along

There is nothing worse than a team that doesn’t get on very well. Whether it’s people taking credit for other’s work or bitchiness by the water cooler, the team has to learn to get along if they are to succeed. Company culture is really important for millennials in particular, so if your team are at each other’s throats, you aren’t going to be able to welcome anyone new.

As a manager, you need to be able to confront bitchy behaviours and nip them in the bud quickly and effectively. Simply asking someone what they hope to gain from the attitude can reveal a lot and give you a chance to suggest other ways to get along. Team building activities can also help remind people how to work well together and boost morale. Nothing encourages bitchy behaviour like a group of grumpy employees!

Noisy Coworkers are Driving People Mad

Open plan offices always seem like a great idea until someone starts drumming on their desk, another person puts the radio on and yet another person starts watching a loud video. Politely telling someone that they are deeply frustrating when you have already lost your patience but it is possible to do.

Try to find something positive to say to connect first and then gently bring the subject up, emphasizing what they can do to help overcome the problem. However tempting it may be, don’t go all out on why they are so irritating, stick to phrases like ‘when you do x, it makes me feel y’ to avoid placing direct and personal blame.

Given that we spend so much time at work, you can see why millennials put so much emphasis on office culture. If you want to avoid some of the worst office conflicts, you should definitely take the time to do regular team building activities. Even having lunch together can improve office relationships.

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