The Worst Work From Home Pet Peeves and How to Avoid Them

pet peeves at work

Work from home, they said. You’ll get fewer distractions, they said. And yet, pet peeves at work aren’t a distant memory from the office era. Indeed, they are the primary challenge for anyone working from home

There is always an inappropriate comment or approach that generates slight annoyance, even behind a screen. And over time, ​​small things become distractions, finally turning into frustration and low productivity. 

What Remote Workers Say About Their Pet Peeves 

According to the SurveyMonkey study poll, these are the most common pet peeves for remote workers: 

  • Flatmates leaving common spaces messy (63%), waking up early in the morning (22%), or using a phone/computer late at night (22%)
  • Neglecting to take out the trash (45%)
  • Bedmate takes too much of the blanket (39%)
  • Colleagues show up late to meetings (33%)
  • Managers fail to recognize your contributions (31%)
  • Talking loudly over the phone (30%)
  • Moving around the house too much (29%)
  • Taking food without asking for permission (24%)
  • Cooking with strong smells (22%)
  • Loud Music (22%)
  • Occupying the kitchen for a long time (20%)

Another study isolates 10 behaviors representing the biggest pet peeves working from home:  

pet peeves at work
Image source: PremierInn study

To recap, working from home comes with a myriad of pet peeves related to coworkers, tools, and working habits. Let’s look at the most common pet peeves at work, and how to deal with them – trying to keep a positive and constructive attitude. 

Office Pet Peeves Following You at Home  

Coworkers 

Coworkers are always a gamble. Sometimes colleagues don’t do their job, forcing you to take over more tasks or are late on their deadlines. Some constantly interrupt you, other gossips around, and there is always one colleague with terrible humor. Not even working remotely will save you from dealing with annoying co-workers. 

How To Not Turn Them In Pet Peeves At Work  

Dealing with people is challenging in private and professional life. Unlike clients, you can be honest with your coworkers. If one of them always calls you out of the clock, remind them of your working hours – worst-case scenario, stop answering completely until they get the message. The point is, annoying colleagues are still part of your team. You have to work with them daily. For example, you can suggest more asynchronous communications or organize tasks based on anyone’s schedule. 

Instead of opening an argument, finding ways to adjust to each other’s needs mutually is a more effective strategy to keep a sustainable situation over time. So, take a deep breath, remember that we are all humans with bad days, and try to be as honest as possible when a situation begins to annoy you. 

Micromanaging 

Once upon a time, managers used to watch over your shoulders and come to your desks every 5 minutes – just to check you were doing fine, right? Today, they ping you on Slack with random questions, need constant confirmation via mail, organize thousands of meetings that could have been short emails, introduce tracking productivity software with cameras, and find ways to be omnipresent on your desktop. Somehow, micromanaging feels worse at home than in the office. 

How To Not Turn Them In Pet Peeves At Work  

Over-controlling managers exist, and they will virtually find ways to monitor your productivity at home with any tech device they can find. The best strategy to deal with them is to anticipate their moves focussing on accountability and communication. You know they will start pinging you from 9 in the morning and won’t stop till the afternoon. So, for an entire week, be accountable for your tasks doing an accurate job sharing your work on the right communication channels. Do everything you can to anticipate feedback and requests – with random questions, unfortunately, you have no chance. After this experiment, speak honestly with your manager, explain your challenges, and ask for a trial period without supervision – after all, you proved you can, and your boss will appreciate the initiative.  

Colleagues With No Resourcefulness 

Don’t ever take common sense for granted, because most people don’t have any. Are you wondering how lack of resourcefulness is a pet peeve? Well, do you remember that colleagues who always ask you something they can find on top of Google search? Or the girl from the other department who always pings you for the same documentation? What becomes a useless interruption for you could have been 3 minutes of research for them. That’s how lack of resourcefulness becomes a pet peeve at work. 

How To Not Turn Them In Pet Peeves At Work  

As for annoying colleagues, there is no easy way to deal with lazy coworkers. What you can do is try an indirect approach, showing them how easy it could have been for them to answer their own questions. However, those who lack common sense and resourcefulness probably won’t get a subtle critique. So, if you reckon a pattern, you can openly talk to your colleagues and teach them how to handle their searches and requests. If you give them tools and resources, they will be less inclined to ask for every little thing – especially after you trained them about it! 

Ghosting 

Ghosting isn’t just a Tinder trend. Sometimes, coworkers don’t reply to emails, calls, and instant messages. And they skip regular meetings when sharing input and feedback is crucial. 

How To Not Turn Them In Pet Peeves At Work  

As we mentioned, we all are humans with bad days – or months. However, being aggressive isn’t the best solution here. Instead, you can start a private conversation to work out how genuine the reason behind the silence is. Then, you can find a different schedule to accommodate your colleagues and ensure a consistent workflow. Of course, if the pattern persists, it’s time to take more serious actions. 

Typical Pet Peeves at Home 

Technology 

Since the beginning of time, technological innovation has been elevating humanity, overcoming geographical borders, and making life easier. Yet, the new guy from the marketing team still doesn’t know how to share the screen. And your top client still struggles with Google Meet and Dropbox. As a result, you waste time dealing with other people’s tech equipment.  

How To Not Turn Them In Pet Peeves At Work  

We can’t stress enough how important it is to have the right technologies working from home. However, even when you prepare your tech tools, there is another team member who doesn’t. In this case, the best thing you can do is prepare your team and clients. Always share links, details, and instructions for video calls. For your team, you can prepare visual documentation explaining what they have to do step by step. It’s probably one of the most boring things to prepare, but you need to do it once. On the contrary, without the right documentation dealing with lousy tech equipment or with people who have no idea how to use tools will become a daily routine! 

Roommates & Partners

Sometimes, you are rushing to meet a deadline. And, your partner sits on the sofa waiting for you to finish – and make dinner. Other times your roommate decides that the working day is over and starts playing guitar. Sharing spaces is challenging, especially when people are doing different jobs. 

How To Not Turn Them In Pet Peeves At Work  

The best thing to do is to set a schedule with your partners and roommates – unless you can afford a coworking space. You can create a shared calendar in the kitchen, and everyone can add important dates and deadlines. Adjusting over time, you can find the right balance and not end up in prison for murder. 

Pets 

What would our life be like without our animals? So boring, right? Well, probably your boss doesn’t share the same perspective after your dog interrupted an important call with investors. Pets are our best friends. But they don’t need to be with us all the time. 

How To Not Turn Them In Pet Peeves At Work  

If you have important calls or deadlines, you can leave your pets to a friend. Or, you can educate them. For example, your cat has an insane passion for Zoom calls, and she just can’t help jumping on the screen anytime you have one. Teach her that she has to sit on your lap or behind the screen without moving if she wants to stay. After a while, she will get used to a new routine, and adjust to your remote job. 

How To Prevent Pet Peeves At Work 

To recap, pet peeves at work exist everywhere. If you can’t avoid annoying situations, you can prevent them before they turn into a drama: 

  • Communicate boundaries upfront 
  • Be honest with your coworkers and managers 
  • Be concise in your communication
  • Create your working space 
  • Set your time schedule 
  • Don’t underestimate the power of asynchronous communication to organize your tasks 

Conclusion 

A perfect job doesn’t exist, whether at home or in the office. Working from home, you can find creative ways to deal with pet peeves at work keeping enough distance to stay sane. Don’t underestimate it! 

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