3 May 2018
Knowing the workplace characters

Here at RedBox Recruitment we work with a range of industries and meet a variety of different characters along the way. The workplace is a complex social environment, where different personalities combine to achieve a common goal of success, targets and customer satisfaction. While each working environment can differ according to its industry, size and company culture, there are five types of people you’re destined to meet wherever you may work. Just like Snow White’s seven dwarfs, each have their own quirky ways about them that you will either love or hate. Knowing how to spot these 5 people – and learning how to work well with them – will help you build successful working relationships that will support your own professional development.

  1. The Gossip

Every office has one and you know exactly who this person is. The office gossip seems to know everything that’s happening with everyone else in the building. You will find them whispering in the kitchen or bathroom and using every possible opportunity to spread their juicy details and findings whether true or not. Their tantalizing information can spice up your workday, but in the end you just don’t want to be associated with this type of behaviour. Management will see this as a negative attribute to a person and they will likely never receive a promotion as they are liable for office morale. Stay clear!

  1. Negative Nancy

The negative Nancy or Nigel will be found sulking behind their desk looking as though the world is about to end. Despite the effort you make, the jokes you recite or the motivation you give them, Nancy or Nigel will not be impressed. They will likely tell you why something cannot be done, rather than saying how it could work. You ask yourself why they are still working for the company if they are that unhappy, but to them it’s better the devil they know.

  1. The over-committed

Oh yes – the over-committed, too involved, hyped up bunny that is too keen and enthusiastic about the most simplest of tasks. They’re the busy bee that has a stack of projects on their desk, is always rushing off to the next meeting, insists on arriving early and staying late, and always puts their hand up to volunteer for new work. Do they love the job that much or just need constant clarification and recognition for doing their job? They breathe and live work and never shut off. This is not a healthy habit to have; we all need the time to switch off after work and leave work where it should be – back in the office. On the other hand, you can look to them for motivation for your own ambitions whether that is a promotion or finding the true satisfaction in your own work, but remember that we all need a break at some point.

  1. The brown nose

Nobody likes a “Brown Nose”. Even the victim of ‘brown nosing’ (most likely the boss) doesn’t even like a brown noser. This snivelling co-worker makes everyone else in the office feel uneasy when they’re around. This person can be best described as someone with very little experience and no backbone. The main reason we don’t like these characters is because they say and do the most basic requirements and expect praise for it.

  1. The delegator

What do these people actually do? They spend their time delegating their workload to other people or attending meetings about a meeting, but you never see them actually doing a task themselves. For some reason your boss thinks that they have excellent time management skills. Be sure to not be a victim of the delegator. Clearly explain your own workload and responsibilities to them and that you do not have the time to prioritise any more tasks in that day. You will soon see them walking onto the next unsuspecting desk and flinging the file onto it.

Everyone likes to think that they are easy-going and have a laid back welcoming approach, but this isn’t always the case. Take a moment to think about your own character traits – are you the one gossiping in the office or sat their hoping the ground will open up beneath you? Think about whether your personality is stopping you from achieving or progressing in the company. Be aware of the types of people we have mentioned and know how to handle them. Do not get sucked in to idle office gossip or negative thoughts, be your own person and you will be sure to stand out in the office jungle.

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