Anyone who is working in an office – or who has worked in an office, will have, at one time or other – come across what is known as *office politics*. Office Politics can be a very stressful and uncomfortable situation, depending on the individual (or individuals) involved and how far they will go. There are a few ways that you can actually overcome Office Politics and you may even be able to stop yourself from pulling out your co-workers hair!
Remember if office politics is causing problems for you – you are feeling stressed or uncomfortable talk to your supervisor and let them know the situation and that it is proving uncomfortable for you. If you feel you need to remove yourself from the troublemaker simply spend less time in the lunchroom and sit in your car or go outside on your breaks.
Never involve yourself in *water cooler gossip* – remove yourself from office gossip, don’t listen and certainly never repeat it. While you might know that one co-worker has something over another person, never pass it along – second hand gossip is dangerous. If you end up becoming too involved in office gossip it can lead to hurt feelings or perhaps even the loss of someone’s job depending on how serious the situation is.
If you are feeling like you will need to find a new job, be sure that you have done everything you could to stay right where you are. Perhaps you could take leave for a while to sort things out if your company is open to helping you through – or sorting out the situation with you. If you really feel there is no help or solution to your problem and you don’t really want to apply for a transfer or leave the company, why not try the direct approach. Talk to the person that is causing trouble, be both tactful and honest and explain how his or her actions are affecting you and your ability to work. Be calm and polite – they may not even realise the stress their actions have or are causing.
If the situation has become so bad that you feel work is unbearable or that you are simply too stressed you can seek out a good counsellor or therapist to talk things through before you actually consider quitting all together alternatively ask for a transfer within the company.
If unfortunately the problem lies with your boss or superior then it might be time to go over their head – this approach is best if the person causing you problems is your immediate supervisor. If your job has become unbearable, you spend your free time dreading work and you have been complaining to friends and family it is time to confront the problem head on. It’s never easy to handle situations like this, but if your work environment is difficult and you are stressed, anxious and uncomfortable 40 hours a week then you do need to eliminate the problem.
Either look for a new job or ask for a meeting with everyone causing the problem and see if the situation can be resolved.
Have you been involved in office politics? How did you handle it? Was the outcome successful? Do you have any advice to share?