4 types of toxic employees

There is most likely a few political players in your office. According to a survey by Robert Half International in 2012, 56% of office workers claim they have witnessed unfair political movement within their workplace.

If you are not familiar with the term ‘office politics’, it is essentially the struggle for power between employees which can see certain individuals progress within the workplace through manipulation.

Whether it be as simple as having their say on the type of coffee for the communal coffee machine or as drastic as getting a huge promotion through being the ‘favourite’ of the boss, office politics is certainly an issue within many workplaces.

Does this mean employees have to play dirty to get anywhere in the business world? Perhaps so, but others may choose to stay out of these underhanded schemes and earn respect through hard work.

What are the 5 most common and annoying office politics? Here are a few to be aware of:


The gossip


There is always a workplace gossip and it seems the office is one of the main places you will find them. This person isn’t afraid to share their perspective on what is going on in their colleagues work and personal lives and thrives off juicy information that is passed onto them from others.

This may be due to the fact they are looking to earn respect from colleagues, by appearing as a threatening figure.

It would be wise not to share too much information with this type of individual. Keep conversations solely work-related and if you feel as though you are being led into discussions of a colleague’s personal life, simply state you have to get on with your tasks.


The one who takes credit for everything


There is always that one individual who will be lurking around to hear their colleague’s fantastic ideas on certain projects and later, pass it off as their own work. This might be done in order to gain praise from a boss or manager, or if commission is on the cards, it might be motivated by money.

Credit thieves are usually the colleagues who spends time hanging around the boss far too often and criticises their co-workers just to get ahead.

If you are the one on the receiving end, always stand up for yourself and have faith in your own ideas without feeling as though you must back down or retaliate with anger or aggression. Go directly to your manager and call a meeting to share your ideas before the credit their in your office has time to overhear.

The saboteur


This individual is certainly one to avoid. Their best interest is usually to ensure your work appears mediocre in comparison to their own and will forward negative opinions about you to those in higher positions.

It can be a real challenge to work on a day-to-day basis with a saboteur, as they are likely to do everything in their power to see you fail.

They are also the type of co-worker who will never take the blame for their own mistakes and instead, lets others take responsibility for whatever goes wrong. It is wise to keep your eyes open for these types of individuals to protect your reputation.

It can be hard to know how exactly to deal with their behaviour, but if confronted, they are likely to back down. If you feel as though they are being persistent, it would be worth having a private meeting with your boss to explain your concerns.


The suck-up 


This type of colleague within an office environment is usually the one that is always hanging around with management and the boss. They are usually trusted by the boss to get a feel for what is going on in the workforce and report back to them.

Although they don’t hold any direct power, they can still make the office feel very uncomfortable if they try to use their position to their full advantage.

It would be in your best interests to get on with these individuals, as they are essentially the eyes and the ears of the company, but still keep them at arms length.