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4 Steps to Deal With Your Workmate Who Can’t Stop Talking


Open office unleashes many horrors, especially for those who embrace calmness and loneliness a.k.a introverts. Office with no closed cubicles can greater the room for more interference and it might decrease productivity for some people. BBC reported that moving on to open office can be a good idea with 70 percent of businesses are already using the concept. Nevertheless, it does not apply to all types of business and employees because research showed an open office can decrease productivity by 15 percent and focus for upwards of 20 minutes.

For introverted individuals, the scary part is when we have to deal with co-workers who cannot shush their mouth during a productive day. Do you have one of them in your office? If the answer is yes and you are too kind to say no for rejecting an invitation for conversation, these steps could help you.

See also: Tips for No-Drama Romance in the Workplace

Stage 1: Don’t avoid it regularly especially if it is about business

Chitty chatting is not always useless regardless of the annoyance. It can actually give some critical information about anything such as business, up-to-date coffee shop, or the newest team building program. A study suggested that small talk is not as bad as previously thought and found that there might be real, meaningful information exchanged during the conversation. So, avoiding it forever could give a disadvantage as it might also decrease the relationship between you and your co-workers.

Therefore, the best way possible to deal with chit chat is to use practical wisdom to figure out whether you need to deal with it or not. If it is really disturbing and holding you from completing your tasks, you should move on to the second stage.

Stage 2: Say something in the middle of a business

Rather than letting your coworkers ramble on while you focus on your computer, you can always be honest and tell them directly that you are busy at the moment without hurting his/her feelings. You can say, “I am in the middle of finishing something now. Probably we can discuss it later while taking lunch (dinner) together.”

Stage 3: Find good escapes

If the aforementioned tip is not working, probably you need to escape from the talking. It might sound rude but it might work best. You can say that you are in the middle of waiting for a phone call or need to call someone important that day. At an extreme escape, you can hide or book a small conference room or hide out in an empty office. You can also lobby for the options to work remotely on a regular basis.

Stage 4: Be honest to avoid repeated bustle

Sometimes, warning the next door mate does not keep him from talking to you. You warn him 5 minutes earlier but then he starts chatting about his one-on-one meeting that day again. So, in order to not repeat the same “unproductive” routine, you should take courage to address the habit by being honest. You might use the following phrase to convey your honesty without damaging the relationship.

“Look, Sarah, I know we are both a good chatting mate. But to be honest, I find that chatting during the day prevents me from getting my work done. I mean we did discuss a lot that I cannot work properly during the day. So, I would really appreciate it if we can cut down on how much chit chat we have during the day.” – And you can add, “Maybe we could plan a café meeting once in a while to discuss random stuff together, does that sound great to you?”

The talk above might save you, at the same time, strengthen the bond between you and your workmate. 

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