How to Avoid Office Pitfalls

Like everything else in life the workplace comes with its own set of complications that is sometimes difficult to deal with. We all handle these difficult situations very differently. The stress most often has an impact on your family and social life. Below are just a few hints to help you cope with daily hassles of work and office life.


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    Do weigh up whether you want to leave or resign. Resigning is an important decision. It will affect your career, your resume and your financial stability. If you want to leave because you feel unappreciated or the office politics is too much to deal with, speak to a senior person allowing them the opportunity to deal with the issue before you actually resign. Management needs to be made aware of how your morale is being affected before they lose you.When you've made your decision to resign choose the right time to tell your employer. Avoid deadline periods or extremely busy hours. Your intention to leave should take the form of a formal resignation letter. " not a casual by the way comment made over the watercooler or in front of clients". Don't hand in your resignation without giving the business an opportunity to make it right. Avoid empty threats, if you say you are resigning, follow through. Please do not see this as an opportunity to criticize your boss or the company as you may need a reference from your boss for future jobs and positions.
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    Do go to your superiors and expose the bullies. Bullying is a silent epidemic that can cause a host of health related complications, heart problems, anxiety, depression and even post traumatic stress disorder. Take time to build your case against bullies by keeping track of specific incidents and cases. Bullying can be very subtle, for example a manager or colleague overloading you with tasks and that are not a part of your job description. Don't expect a polite request to stop bullies in their tracks. Unfortunately bullies rarely change of their own accord, so the options usually simmer down to fight or flight.
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    When asking for a raise or promotion, do approach the subject from the angle of your worth to the business. If you are asking for a raise you should be able to justify why you deserve it. Point out how you are currently working beyond what is expected of you and how your promotion will be in your companies best interest. Don't expect a raise or promotion on the basis of how long you've worked for the company. A sense of entitlement and arrogance will work against you.
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    If you are pregnant, do tell your boss as soon as possible. First consider your finances, your legal rights and the kind of maternity leave you want to take. Take the time to work through the practicalities and be ready to suggest solutions or a framework that will suit both you and your boss. Some solutions could include looking for a temp to fill your position while you are away or by redistributing work to your colleagues. Don't leave it till the last minute. This will just put you, your boss and your colleagues under unnecessary stress and makes you seem flighty and unreliable.
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    Do choose your battles wisely when dealing with workplace conflict. Decide how important the issue is to you and whether is is worth tackling. If it is, approach the situation calmly, using neutral language to discuss what it is that's bothering you. Don't make judgments and generalizations. Focus on the problem and not the person. Bringing up personality traits you don't like about them is not constructive. Tackle the issue at hand.
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    Don't ask for an increase when the company is struggling, no matter how much you feel you deserve one. This is definitely not the time to ask for a bonus, as you may put your head on the chopping block, if the company is seriously considering retrenching staff.
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    Do focus on what you can contribute to the company by taking on an extra project or doing your part in saving costs. Management will see your effort and who knows, they may offer you a bonus in appreciation of your added contribution.


  • Do respond to unwanted sexual advances by standing your ground. If this still persists, report it to your HR manager.
  • Just as important is to avoid being the object of gossip. So keep emotions and attitudes in check, more especially at staff parties.
  • Don't get involved in office gossip. Everyone likes to feel a part of the "In Crowd" and the easiest way of doing this is to dish dirt on someone else. Gossiping about co workers breeds negativity in the workplace.
  • As far as possible try not to get romantically involved with co workers. Work affairs gone all wrong can be extremely uncomfortable for you as well as colleagues.


  • Use your discretion when handling any situation. The last thing you need is to make matters worse than they already are.

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Categories: Workplace Conflicts Coping and Issues