10 Rules for Surviving Your Open Plan Office

Be Tolerant
Sure he's annoying with his feet up on the glass but you might do some things he finds annoying too. Creatas Images/Thinkstock

We get it, we get it – it's really annoying when Sam loudly yucks it up on every phone call. Or when Gina eats smelly tuna fish every Friday. You want to scream when Casey is snapping his gum, and hand Phil, who has rampant B.O., a stick of Old Spice. You daydream about snatching the nail clippers out of Mary's hand when she begins trimming her nails, and of placing a wide strip of duct tape over Harry's mouth when he begins to hum. So many people have such annoying habits! And yet ... so do you.

You may try to be very conscientious, and do none of the things above that drive you nuts. But everyone likely has at least one habit or two that another person finds annoying. Maybe you aren't belching with abandon or screaming on the phone, but your seemingly innocuous daily weather reports or pregnancy updates might grate on a colleague's nerves. So when a co-worker is annoying you, breathe deeply, think happy thoughts and practice tolerance. Because you never know how many times others are practicing it on you [source: Cunningham].