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Merely Avoiding Confrontation Can Prolong Frustration

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To the majority of us, being productive in the office is a great thing. Yet, for one individual, consistently accomplishing her work is a big problem.

The Indianapolis Star printed the following Dear Annie letter:

Dear Annie: In my office, we all have different, unconnected job functions. I am usually busy, and when my work is finished, I take a break. I do not disturb anyone else while I go online, take a walk, or do some organizing and other things to pass the time until my next assignment. One of my co-workers makes sarcastic comments about my work ethic. It’s not like I can use my free time to help her, because our jobs are unrelated. The boss knows he can count on me when there is work to be done, but he isn’t going to invent assignments. How do I handle my nosy co-worker, who seems to be watching my every move?

– Looking Busy Enough

This predicament is a hard one to tackle. After all, what type of advice can you give an anonymous reader that will help maintain a well-working relationship without creating rifts in the workplace? According to Annie, the best advice is to adapt amicably. Below is her response:

Dear Reader: Your co-worker is envious that you have finished your work and have time to yourself and she doesn’t. As long as your boss is satisfied, you are under no obligation to please anyone else. You could try “making nice” by offering to bring her a cup of coffee or something along those lines, but otherwise, ignore her barbs. It’s sour grapes and not worthy of a response.

We have covered employee satisfaction and the inability to maintain a cohesive work environment can have lasting negative effects on productivity. So, although Annie’s advice to ignore and “make nice” is a calm, non-confrontational plan, its overall effectiveness is questionable since it does little more than prolong frustration.

Instead, why not encourage “Looking Busy Enough” to utilize her strengths in a more effective way?

improving worker productivity and creativity

© Flickr user brennan.v

If AccelaWork were to respond, we would advise the following:

Dear Reader: From the sounds of it, your workflow is not only successful, but meeting—if not exceeding—expectations. Well done! And while your well-deserved free time is yours to spend however you’d like, perhaps it’s time to take your talent for productivity to the next level. After all, your job isn’t just to complete projects, it’s also to be innovative and creative on behalf of the company.

Though your co-worker’s job functions are different, remember that both of you have the same overall goal: to work effectively and generate success. What better reason is there than to take your free time and develop new ways of integrating your work systems into the office? By doing so, you are satisfying three solid things:

  • You will have the chance to assist all your co-workers in their own productivity. Not only will this help boost your office’s overall success, but it will perhaps reduce the rift between you and your co-worker.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to showcase your unique skills and work ethic to your boss; highlighting your creativity and leadership.
  • You will empower yourself and feel more accomplished, confident and respected.

Seize the moment and use your productivity to your advantage! I guarantee you and your co-workers will be thankful you did.

Improving worker productivity has a slew of advantages: it streamlines projects, frees up time for innovation, helps the functioning of our brains and strengthens collaboration in the workplace.  To learn more about how we can help your company, reach out to our productivity growth consultants today!

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