- The Office Clown
They’re walking jokes who try too hard to be funny but come off as weird instead. Usually harmless, but sometimes can get annoying when they try to make fun of the boss and make the situation more awkward.
Most commonly found: In any office environment.
What makes them toxic: They try hard to make up for their insecurities by being the centre of attention, this backfires because instead of gaining respect they get odd looks from everyone around. They often end up crossing everyone’s boundaries.
How to deal with them: You have to address any improper jokes and behaviour, speak your mind, and explain why what they’re doing is wrong or unprofessional.
- The Victim
This toxic co-worker constantly tries to gain sympathy from others so they can take advantage of people by playing the victim role. They use temper tantrums, anger, and threats to get what they want.
Most commonly found: An office environment with overly sensitive or manipulative people
What makes them toxic: Their constant need for comfort and reassurance is annoying because they resort to playing the victim card when something goes wrong or doesn’t go their way.
How to deal with them: Try not to get into an argument with this type of person because it’s unlikely that you’ll ever win, it will only fuel their sense of entitlement. You can ask if there’s anything you can do to help but ignore any passive-aggressive behaviour until they calm down.
- The Aggressor
This person is always getting into arguments and disrupting meetings, presentations, or speeches because they think they know better than everyone else. Their hostility and aggression make it difficult for anyone else to get anything done.
Most commonly found: In an environment with little leadership/guidance.
What makes them toxic: They cause problems that need to be resolved right away before others can work productively, which slows productivity. This behaviour continues until someone stops it by letting them know their actions aren’t acceptable, but most likely nothing will change.
How to deal with them: Try not to let their hostility and aggressiveness affect your attitude because the more you get into an argument, the more they’ll want to continue it. You can ask for help from a supervisor to put this person in place.
- The Talker
This co-worker loves talking about themselves and only themselves – even when they’re not saying anything important. They share many irrelevant stories making it difficult for others to concentrate or get work done.
Most commonly found: Working with someone with little leadership skills
What makes them toxic: Their constant talking is distracting for everyone and slows down productivity. It is unlikely that anything will change unless someone steps up and lets this person know their behaviour isn’t acceptable or productive to the work environment.
How to deal with them: Ask them to discuss later when it is less busy at work, also let them know that constant talking is not acceptable. Be prepared for a fight because this person likes talking to get attention from others. Do not let their behaviour continue or else productivity will suffer.
- The Unqualified
This co-worker always tries to get ahead of everyone else in the workplace, even though they are incompetent.
They constantly ask for help with their work but never learn from their mistakes. Their lack of work experience contributes immensely to their inability to add value.
Most commonly found: Any environment with few opportunities for advancement or growth.
What makes them toxic: Their constant need for guidance and supervision slows down other people, as they cannot handle anything without assistance. This greatly impedes productivity.
How to deal with them: Share all the information they need to effectively execute their tasks or recommend training but if that does not work, it’s time for a meeting with human resources or management. It is also possible this person might try to take advantage of you because they know you’ll take care of them since you’re much more experienced, so don’t let your kindness make you an easy target.
- The Office Flirt
This co-worker is always flirting in the workplace, making everyone else around them feel uncomfortable.
Most commonly found: In any workplace where there is an equal mix of males and females.
What makes them toxic: Flirting is tolerable if it is not pushed too far and no one minds getting a little attention, as long as you don’t overdo it. But when everyone else feels uncomfortable, that is when it becomes toxic.
How to deal with them: If this person flirts with everyone instead of just one certain person, then it would probably be best if you let human resources know what is going on because no one should have to feel uncomfortable at work.
- The Spy
This co-worker is always trying to find out information from you about what is going on with the company, its finances, and other sensitive topics. They do not stop asking questions even if they’ve been hinted multiple times that such information is confidential.
Most commonly found: Any place where people have access to confidential information.
What makes them toxic: This person is a constant source of stress because you never know when they might lurk around your desk, looking for any useful information that can help them get ahead at work or give an edge over everyone. All it takes is one time for them to overhear confidential information and it could land you in trouble.
How to deal with them: It is best for your protection if you don’t tell them anything they’re not supposed to know. If they keep on nagging you about it, then just let human resources know that they have been asking you about things outside your job description.
Thank you for reading! Which have you encountered at work? Share in the comments.