How to deal with a chatty coworker

Office conversations don’t always have to be all work-related. But every office has a coworker who loves to chat, and a lot of times it is never about work.

A recent Robert Half survey of office workers in D.C. found 29% say their biggest distraction at work is chatty coworkers.

“They are chatting about things that are on social media. Things going on in entertainment or politics. A lot of it is not even about what’s going on at work. Only 20% of what chatty coworkers chat about is work related,” Robert Half’s Trey Barnette told WTOP.

How best to deal with the distraction? The best way is to simply make it clear you are busy.

“I would say the best way to deal with that co-worker is to set parameters. Let them know that you have deadlines to meet, and that you’re not going to be able to have too long of a conversation. And keep the conversation clear and concise,” Barnette said.

Chatty coworkers may be the most frequently cited distraction, but not the only one.

And while many office workers don’t have the luxury of a private office, many wish they did.

The survey found 42% of D.C. office workers said they are most productive in a private office with the door closed.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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