Ways Coworkers Waste Your Time in the Office and How to Put an End to It


We all have those coworkers who upon asking divulge every single personal detail. You meant to have a small talk but well your coworkers think otherwise. Sometimes they like to trap you in boundless email chains and all we can do is start wondering how much we could have accomplished if we could work alone.

Here are the ways your coworkers waste your time during work hours and how to put an end to it.

Paying frequent visits by your desk

Perhaps you have witnessed a coworker dropping by your desk now and again to talk or vent about things. They would ask you about the weather or have a chat about the morning staff meeting you’ll attend. Or just come around to ask the seemingly innocent question, “What are you doing?”

Next time, when your coworker approach though, make it obvious that you don’t want to have a conversation or be oblivious. Whenever you spot them pop your headphones on or put it out straight you are swamped with work and sadly cannot talk right now.

Sends you continuous emails

Your email inbox is continuously flowing with emails every two seconds. There certainly are very important messages however the rest of them could be the unnecessary discussion from your colleagues about a project you are all working on.

It would be so much better, easier and efficient for them all to discuss it face to face or on the call but no, they involve in the perpetual short, one-line emails back and forth.

You are distracted by them and more often feel they are useless as some of the discussions go out of the topic to having personal chats.

Put an end to this by gently requesting them to take their conversations elsewhere. And from here on make sure your emails have definite statement rather than more questions to be able to keep all the conversations concise.

Invites you to pointless meetings

There are times when your colleague sends you a calendar invite to an upcoming meeting. You assume that it must be something important and relevant to something you are working on and at the set time you arrive at the conference room.

The meeting begins and suddenly you realize you have no idea what these people are talking about. And you quickly understand this meeting is not something you need to be a part of. Your colleague, for some reason, passed the invitation like he was passing sweets!

Perhaps they just needed you around as they didn’t want to end up in a boring meeting alone. At least it feels good to hear you are enjoyable to be around, right? Well but the invitations will keep rolling from the colleagues so you stop them by speaking up.

Next time you get an invitation ask them few questions like, “Is there any agenda?” or “How am I supposed to prepare for the meeting to contribute meaningfully?”

Endlessly asking you the same questions that you have already answered

Some colleagues consider you like an employee handbook. They keep asking you about the next holiday, whether the payday is this week or the next week, and the number of sick days they can take.

You might feel flattered that you know the systems of the organization you are working at. But it becomes really annoying when you have to answer to these queries which were also addressed elsewhere. The more frustrating part is when it eats up your time.

Next time you are responding to such questions, let them know where they can find the answers for themselves, they will get the hint.

Fails to prepare sufficiently

You and your colleague need to discuss the project you both are working on so you set up a meeting. While you have prepared well-analyzed notes for the meeting you realize your colleague has done absolutely nothing to prepare for the conversation.

You are left with doing the most discussion and perhaps pretty well most of the work as well while they blankly stare at you and nod along.

Simply point out to your colleague that you both should regroup for a meeting once both have adequately prepared for the conversation. Never point finger by saying, well ‘you’ did not get anything ready for the discussion even though it is a prominent fact. Just say perhaps you both need a sufficient time to get ready for the conversation. And they will get the clue.