The return to the office is slow but sure, after 18 months of lockdowns, furloughs, and remote working agreements. There are a lot of things we miss about office work – the tea rounds, lunchtime gossips, the social gatherings once the day is done – but there are things which may make you think twice about coming back. The prospect of clashing with certain personalities is certainly one of them, so which traits do we like least in our colleagues?
Poor Listening Skills
A recent survey by poster specialists instantprint outlined the most and least desirable traits in the workplace as declared by 2,000 UK office employees. Poor listening was highlighted as a particular bugbear, with more than a third (34%) of respondents reporting they didn’t wish to work alongside someone displaying that characteristic.
Listening skills are crucial in the workplace for a variety of reasons. They enable people to follow instructions, prevent crossed wires on collaborative tasks and, crucially, employees that feel listened to will feel more empowered as a result.
Personality traits relating to domination in the workplace were also derided by the survey’s respondents. For example, 32% said a colleague who attempted to dominate others would be viewed negatively, and 28% rejected domineering personalities in general.
These negative traits can manifest themselves in a number of ways. A co-worker may have ideas above their station and attempt to place themselves above others in order to get their way, or exercise false authority. Domineering personalities are also common in leadership positions, with inadequate managers and directors abusing their seniority and imposing themselves on their staff.
More than a quarter (26%) of all respondents suggested colleagues that don’t follow through on work and promises would not make good team members, while 18% reported the easily distracted as undesirable to work with. Unreliability can be a major issue for any team, especially if momentum has been created on a project before one member not doing their bit stops the work dead in its tracks.
Last but certainly not least, 27% of respondents reported inflexibility as a personality trait they did not want to see in their office environment. Where an individual isn’t willing to work with their colleagues to action a reasonable plan, or make concessions with regard to the development of a given project, friction can easily occur. And where someone in a position of authority is unwilling to re-work deadlines for a stressed, potentially overworked staff, morale can suffer.