Corporate Adulting

The 7 Deadly Sins of the Virtual Workplace

Now that working from home is the new normal, we all have the chance to experience a whole different set of annoying habits some of our co-workers possess.

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In a corporate environment, there are certain actions that your co-workers do or do not do that drive others in the office crazy. Now that working from home is the new normal, we all have the chance to experience a whole different set of annoying habits some of our co-workers possess. What are the new “deadly sins” of the workplace? Here is my list of personas that drive their virtual co-workers crazy.

1. Bad Hair Day Fred or Frannie. Fred or Frannie don’t turn on video sharing because they are having a bad hair day — every time a call is scheduled. We all have days where we may not wish to be shown on video, but Fred and Frannie take this to a whole new level. If the rest of us have to put on real clothes, Fred and Frannie should have to also!

2. I’m Busy Barbara or Ben. Barbara and Ben have made a science out of never being available for a real conversation or meeting. If you text them, they may answer, but they are always busy. Check their calendar — completely blocked with no availability. Send an email — unanswered for days, then with an “I’m sorry for the late response, I’ve been so busy” message. Maybe Barbara and Ben are terribly busy — but is it with work? The world may never know.

3. Silent Stan or Sally. Stan and Sally show up to everything, but never contribute. They are on all the calls they are invited to attend. They are always present, but they do not volunteer, they do not contribute. Why are they here?

4. “Isn’t that Cute?” Craig or Christine. Working from home means that all of us will have kids or pets or doorbells crashing our calls periodically. With the pandemic, we’ve all relaxed a good deal and it’s mostly a non-issue — it happens to everyone. Craig and Christine, however, think this it is acceptable that their kids or pets crashing calls repeatedly is not just ok, it’s really cute. After all, who doesn’t want to have a 2-year-old talking during a meeting or a dog barking loudly in the background on EVERY CALL?

5. Distracted Dan or Darcy. Dan and Darcy are consummate multi-taskers. If you ask for their feedback on a call during a lengthy discussion of a topic, their response will always be “I’m sorry, can you repeat the question?” Dan and Darcy — this is a message to you from everyone. PAY ATTENTION, please!

6. Always Late Allen or Alice. Allen and Alice have a relaxed sense of time, so are perpetually late to every meeting and video call. Someone always must track them down via messaging or text to ask if they are able to attend, since they accepted the meeting invite. Once they arrive, they start each call with “Sorry I’m late!” If eye rolls made a noise, Allen and Alice would possibly understand that they are annoying their co-workers.

7. Cryptic Cal or Candy. Cal and Candy are super protective of their time and keep their calendar blocked where you cannot see their availability for meetings. Scheduling a meeting with Candy or Cal requires a call to either them directly or depending on their seniority level, to their executive assistant to try to find a time that will work for them, specifically. If you have multiple Candy and Cal personalities you are trying to schedule with, this feels like a huge waste of YOUR time. Why so secretive/protective of your calendar? It’s not like we can see the time you’ve scheduled for extracurricular or private activities? We just want to see the time you might be available to talk about a project you asked us to work on, darn it!

What other things are your co-workers doing in the virtual environment that make you nuts?

Note: All persona names above have no relation to any real people in my life. I PROMISE.

Thanks for reading! Read more of my Corporate Adulting Blog series at https://monicaojendyk.medium.com/.

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