What is OfficePolitics.com? Real People. Real Problems. Expert Advice.
Franke James is Editor/Founder of Office-Politics.com and Inventor of the Office-Politics® Game.
Peter R. Garber has worked as an HR professional for over 25 years and is the author of many business books including: Winning the Rat Race at Work and 100 Ways to Get on the Wrong Side of your Boss.
Dina Beach Lynch, is an Ombudsman, Author and former attorney. An award-winning mediator, Dina served as the Corporate Ombudsman for the 7th largest bank in the US helping over 48,000 employees to resolve workplace issues.
Dr. Rick Brandon is CEO of Brandon Partners. He has consulted and trained tens of thousands at corporations worldwide, including Fortune 500 companies across a variety of industries.
Dr. Marty Seldman is one of America's most experienced executive coaches. His 35-year career includes expertise in executive coaching, group dynamics, cross-cultural studies, clinical psychology, and training.
Arnie Herz, is a lawyer, mediator, speaker, author and consultant nationally recognized for his practical and inspired approach to conflict resolution and client counseling.
Dr. John Burton LL.B. M.B.A. M.Div. Ph.D. is an ethicist, mediator, lawyer and theologian. John is currently located in Prince Rupert, B.C., Canada, working with Canada's aboriginal communities.
Ears burning? Your workmates may hate you.
By Misty Harris
The good news is, most of your workmates enjoy - or, at the very least, tolerate - your company.
The bad news is, nearly a quarter of them hate you so much they may be considering quitting just to avoid speaking with you.
So suggests a new online poll of 2,000 adults, fully 22 per cent of whom confess to despising their colleagues. One-third of respondents say they have, at one point or another, resorted to changing jobs just to escape obnoxious co-workers.
Stapler stealers, users of hip catchphrases and those fond of making "finger pistols" should consider themselves warned.
“The office is a lot like a family,” says Franke James, editor and founder of the Canadian website Office-Politics.com. “And nobody knows how to push our buttons like a brother or sister.”
The poll was conducted by 72 Point, a division of the United Kingdom's largest independent news agency, on behalf of the office stationery supplier Partners. Although British adults comprised the sample, James says assimilation trends within office culture have no borders.
“If you wanted to join the Hells Angels motorcycle group, you pretty much know what you have to do to fit in - wear leather, get tattoos, have a certain lifestyle,” she says. “In corporate politics, it's not necessarily as obvious as that, but it's there.”
James, who is based in Toronto, notes that those who try too hard to fit into an environment that doesn't suit them will likely have their behaviour interpreted as “false window-dressing” and won't be accepted by their peers.
Indeed, nearly three-quarters of survey respondents say they regularly gossip about colleagues behind their backs at the office, while 25 per cent conduct their trash-talk at the pub. Even more workers - 33 per cent - don't socialize with colleagues after hours at all.
Others express themselves through technology, with about one in 10 having conducted “sneaky chats” with workmates on instant messaging or e-mail. Not surprisingly, half those people (five per cent of total respondents) have sent an inappropriate message to the wrong person at least once.
“It's so dangerous to gripe via e-mail,” says James. “Never put in writing what you wouldn't say to the person. Of course, some people would say terrible things. So perhaps the better advice is “Never put in writing something slanderous that you might get sued for!”
Keeping quiet about the person signing one's paycheque may be hardest of all. Twenty per cent of respondents named their boss as the chief cause of tension in the workplace, while senior management emerged as the least-liked group in the office.
The 11 most despised office characters:
The No. 1 (17.7 per cent)
The Blagger (13.5 per cent)
Organizes the office party, whip-rounds, cinema outings and lunches out. Is rarely seen doing any work.
Source: Partners/72 Point poll
Story by Misty Harris, Copyright CanWest News Service 2006. Reproduced with permission. Send your comments about this article to: firstname.lastname@example.org