Are You Guilty of 'Invisible Pollution' in the Office?

Most people know they shouldn't create a physical mess at their desk or in the office, but are your habits causing 'invisible pollution'? Learn to be aware of subtle annoyances.

Some people are more sensitive to noise while they're working than others. Do you like to listen to music during your workday? You may think you're being considerate by listening with headphones, but some headphones aren't as silent as you think. If your volume is up, your whole office may still hear the beat of your favourite tunes through the headphones. You should also set your phone to vibrate as notification dings can get on others' nerves. If you need to have a personal phone conversation, keep your voice down or step out for a moment.

Snacking can also be noisy, so be aware if you bring crunchy snacks like crisps to the office. Many people don't mind the sound, but some can't stand the crunching sound. Ask your colleagues if this bothers them. Smelly foods also cause annoyance. Avoid eating a tuna sandwich at your desk and if you microwave food, choose dishes that won't stink up the microwave.

Food isn't the only unpleasant smell you can bring into the office. Your perfume, cologne or body spray may smell great to you, but your colleagues might not agree. If your body gives off any noticeable smell when you walk into a room, whether from natural odour or perfumes/sprays, this is a problem.

A final kind of invisible pollution is the attitude you project. If you're constantly complaining, making subtly hurtful comments to others or spreading gossip, this can poison the atmosphere in an office. Aim to stay positive and encourage others and refuse to take part in gossip.


Noise pollution
Watch what you eat
Strong smells
Negative attitudes