Did you ever stop to wonder why the television sitcom The Office, which features a first-class office jerk – the boss, no less – is so popular?
It’s simple. For starters, it's a theme to which so many of us can relate. If you've ever worked in an office, chances are you've encountered an office jerk, that annoying co-worker whose ridiculous antics or inappropriate behavior wreaks havoc on the productivity and morale of every other office employee.
It's fairly easy to laugh at the office jerk whose cubicle is nowhere near yours. It's an entirely different matter when you're stuck working with an office jerk day in and day out. When you're at the receiving end of the office jerk's bad behavior – whether it's bullying, backstabbing, egotism, or just downright annoying behavior – there's little humor in it, especially when you feel helpless about changing it.
According to Stanford University professor Robert I. Sutton in his book "The No A**hole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't," workplace jerks are everywhere, and most people will encounter one of these people over the course of their professional life. Jerks expand their impact at the cost of those around them, dividing rather than multiplying, making the organizational whole less than the sum of its parts.
Rather than accepting jerkiness as the "new normal," it's more important than ever for leaders to have the courage to address and correct behaviors. Understanding why the office jerk continues, unabated, to get under co-workers' skin and learning how to confront the individual head on can make the work environment a whole lot more tolerable for everyone.
VITAL WorkLife understands the impact of the “office jerk” everything from simply annoying co-workers and contributing to workplace stress to creating a toxic environment and disrupting the organization's productivity.
We Can Help
VITAL WorkLife has a wide variety of solutions aimed at addressing the office jerk. Our approach can include everything from training on how to address conflict, understanding personality styles, one-on-one coaching with individuals to correct the problem and so much more. Contact us to discuss your office jerk and we will work with you to customize a solution. For more information on our Well Being Trainings, click here.
It is time to say “we’re not going to tolerate it anymore!”