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Question
Posted by: Sunshine | 2012/08/07

Loud colleague

Hallo Cybershrink

I hope you are well.

I can go around and google my " annoyance" , but in this case I''m afraid that I had no luck.

I have a male colleague that literally sits a metre away from me. I''m his manager and we are in an open-plan office. Apart from the fact that he can be loud at times, is constantly on his phone (for which he has been reprimaded) he humms, whistle and talks to himself the whole time. We make jokes at him, but still he does not " get it" .

It is SO annoying and his humming drives me absolutely mad! The rest of my team has complained about this numerous times - but I don''t know HOW to tell him his little " habits"  are most annoying.

Please help.

Thanks.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

As his manager, don't you ( perhaps in consultation with HR ? ) have the right, even responsibility, to speak calmly but firmly to him about his excessive tome on the phone rather than doing the work he's paid for, and how his unnecessary noises distract others ? One should be polite, but there's no point in being subtle to someone so thick-skinned. Just say it.
Maria has some good suggestions there of tactful alternatives or supplements.

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Maria | 2012/08/07

Very awkward. You will have to talk to him (in private obviously). Something like this maybe: " X, you know in an open plan office people must be considerate of each other. The other members of the team, and I, are unfortunately disturbed when you whistle or hum. I''m sorry to have to ask this of you, but can you tone it down?" 

Or hold a meeting with everybody in which you address the issue of behaviour that makes an open plan environment work. Or send out an email with tips?

Good luck.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/08/07

As his manager, don't you ( perhaps in consultation with HR ? ) have the right, even responsibility, to speak calmly but firmly to him about his excessive tome on the phone rather than doing the work he's paid for, and how his unnecessary noises distract others ? One should be polite, but there's no point in being subtle to someone so thick-skinned. Just say it.
Maria has some good suggestions there of tactful alternatives or supplements.

Reply to cybershrink

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