Admit it—you have at least one colleague who annoys you. Back when you were all in the office together, just seeing them would set your teeth grinding. So you’d think that working remotely would make it easier to deal with annoying colleagues. After all, they can’t swoop down on you when you’re working from home.
Yet many colleagues I have talked to have complained more about the coworkers that bug them, not less.
There are several reasons why you might actually be more bothered by the petty annoyances of work now than before. For one, the interminable stress pit that many people are dealing with has made it harder to shrug off the little things. For another, you don’t see your colleagues that often, and so your negative thoughts can have a bigger impact on your perception of work than your actual interactions with people. Finally, many of the things out there that are creating anxiety (the pandemic, the election, the economy) are ones that we can’t do much about. So, it is easier to focus your attention on something smaller and put all of your angst on that.
Here are a few things you can try to navigate this relationship more successfully: