Procrastination and time management: work efficiently despite open-plan office and difficult colleagues


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Notoriously chattering, nagging or quickly disabling colleagues can cause an immense loss of time, especially in the open-plan office. How do we best deal with them? Clarity, recognition and serenity are the cornerstones of the strategy.

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Procrastination - Out of the line of fire

I already have Best of HR – Berufebilder.de® tells how I personally escape people who steal too much of my precious time. Today it should be about how to solve this problem Company, with employees and colleagues solves. Corinne Maier has given the following rather cynical tip in her book The Discovery of Laziness:

“Never, and under no circumstances, take on a responsible position… Choose… in the largest companies the most redundant positions: advice, advice, research, investigation. The more useless you are, the less you can quantify your 'contribution to the creation of wealth in the company'. Avoid operational items like the plague. It is ideal to be transported to the siding ...

Time management in the open-plan office

This sounds pretty general, but seems like the optimal solution to avoid the thieves: you just go out of their line of fire. Unfortunately, this does not always work. Especially in open-plan offices that is extremely difficult. After all, they are and will be a big problem for many employees. A study by the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences showed some time ago that the rate of illness is increasing with the number of colleagues working in the open-plan office:

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“If about half of the employees with a single office say they haven't missed anything due to illness in the past year, this figure drops to 38 percent for two offices. The situation is even worse in offices with more than 16 employees: only three out of ten of the employees there are absenteeized throughout the year. ”

Work more efficiently despite colleagues

And once again, it has to be noted extra: open-plan offices are not just bad, they can even improve collaboration among colleagues and are even more efficient in the Theori than single offices. However, these must not be laying hens' offices, which work together in a confined space and without individual opportunities for withdrawal.

Just as many people work together in open-plan offices today, it is no wonder that many no longer care for their jobs, torture themselves daily in the office and even wish for illnesses in order to be able to take care of the bed.

Difficult colleagues who steal your time - and tips on what you can do

It is no wonder that so many employees are overbearing, resistant to advice, scrupulously perfectionist, garrulous, impatient, ungrateful, obstinate or boastful towards bosses and colleagues. That's just what makes them too difficult, the other people's time. And now? How do you deal with such time-consuming colleagues?

1. Get rid of babblers

A typical time-saver are, for example, talkative colleagues who stand in the office door and talk and talk - there is so much to do. And while you initially listen patiently and slowly feel the patience to travel, you have already made the first mistake: getting involved in a conversation at all. It is always better to have a clear “no” right at the beginning of the conversation. It is elegant to keep the babbler friendly and inconspicuous with work, eg "Could you do me a big favor and clarify something for me?"

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Sometimes, however, psychological instinct is also required: gossipers are only too happy to praise themselves and display what appears to be great self-confidence. In reality, they are looking for recognition. If you give them a little bit of it, you take the wind out of their sails at the same time: “Yes, I also think that you did your last project well. Keep it up."

2. Loathing colleagues put off their nerves

The cause of recognition can also work wonders from ever-grumbling colleagues who always read out the negative from all situations and thus make fruitful cooperation difficult. Just praise such pessimists, because they often have a weak self-esteem or are just dissatisfied.

3. Help, a choleric

Finally, cholerics can be time-consuming. They are sociable and productive as long as they go their way. But alas, they run a louse on the liver - then they suddenly raced off, while the others helplessly search for the trigger. How do I handle this? Look at the drama as calmly as possible and wait until the anger is gone.

Little trick: Imagine, as a director, that you assess an actor auditioning for angry fits. Or: Concentrate on a certain detail - "If the vein swells further on the right, it will burst immediately ...". Important here: Demonstrate your self-confidence in body language. Make sure you keep eye contact, because if you drop your eyes, you automatically pose in penance. Take an upright posture, never collapse on the office chair. In this way you do not unnecessarily prolong the choleric show and the time lost is kept to a minimum.

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  1. Thomas P.

    Your content really gives you the courage to deal more with your own time management. Can I have some more, please!

  2. Gerd

    Good contribution, I know the problem very well!

  3. Marion

    I'm pretty excited about your blog and just had to get rid of it.

  4. Holger Prieske

    Procrastination is work-in-front. I can not find anything that goes in this direction in this article.

    Instead of telling a colleague, “I don't have time for you now”, should one come up with a pointless job and assign it to him to make him go away?
    This is a guide to dishonesty and wasting money.
    It may improve one's well-being, but in no case serves the good of the company.

    • Simone Janson

      Thank you for the advice. I see that differently, but fortunately, tastes are different, as you know.

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