How To Deal with a Loud Co-Worker

Your office should act as a “fortress of privacy” for you and your co-workers, enabling you to work efficiently without any distractions.  But what if, one insensitive person starts to yap and yap all day? What if this person becomes such a loudmouth that his or her office mates can’t work productively? Statistics all over America say that almost one-third of the complaints in the office involve knowing how to deal with a loud-mouthed co-worker.

There are several ways to deal with a loud co-worker. Here are some tips to help you return to what you are doing and at the same time make your loud co-worker realize what a distraction he has become.

Talk to your co-worker. Of course, before doing anything rash, try talking to your co-worker about his or her work ethics. If you tell your co-worker of the problem, then (if your co-worker is a sane individual) he/she will realize the mistake and will try to change so you won’t be annoyed anymore.

Get help from others. There will always be strength in numbers. If you need help in talking to your problematic co-worker, try asking around for other people who share your common concerns. Surely, you won’t be the only one who notices the loud mouth. And let’s see him or her go against an angry mob.

Use a distraction for your distraction. Bring your radio, iPod or anything that will counter your distraction. Better yet, turn your radio loud enough to distract your loud co-worker into submission. Tune it to some music he or she hates to add an element of annoyance. This should shut the fellow up.

Use traditional equipment. Earplugs should come in handy in at least muffling noise from an unwanted source.

Use mild humiliation tactics. If you are really starting to get ticked off, put a bowl of earplugs on your desk, and a warning sign that says “Loudmouth ahead. Use these for protection” or something like that. Or just put a sign near you guys that will warn others of his or her stupid behavior.

If all else fails:

  • Seek out professional assistance. Ask your supervisor or Human Relations/Resource Department to assist you with your concern. Tell the HR personnel that you have already talked to your co-worker about the problem and he or she didn’t quite get what you were trying to say.
  • Ask to be relocated. This is another “If all else fails” tactic. If you just can’t stand your loud mouth co-worker anymore, ask to be relocated into a quieter location. Your supervisor might suggest this in the first place if ever you are really fed up with your megaphone-like co-worker.

Of course, always use the first option before doing anything else (the rest of these options are for those thick-headed people who just can’t get it). Running to your supervisor immediately would not be fair without giving him the chance to improve his behavior first.


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