How To Deal With The 3 Most Common Workplace Conflicts

Businessman Arguing With His ColleguesIn your personal life, you likely pick your friends and your spouse.

However, you often don’t get to pick the people you spend the most time with – your coworkers.

You have to spend 40 or more hours a week with these people, and it’s not always easy.

As a manager, it is important to foresee possible issues that can arise between employees in order to try to prevent them before they escalate into bigger deals than they really are.

In this article, we will list the most common complaints colleagues have about each other.


One of the biggest problems that has plagued colleagues throughout time is gossip.

The office is usually a small environment where information disseminates quickly, and often gets blown out of proportion.

It is not uncommon in any workspace to hear stories about how an individual confided in a co-worker about a recent argument he had with his wife, only to have the whole office gossiping that the couple are having severe marriage problems by the end of the day.

As a manager, you should create a no-gossip corporate culture, making sure to include that in the employee handbook.

Meet with new staff members to state how serious you are about this.

Additionally, recommend that your staff keep their personal lives to themselves, at least while at the office.


Another common workplace issue is nosiness.

This is due to the lack of personal space, which opens up a Pandora’s box about how much information other coworkers can attain from just walking by a person’s desk.

While some companies deal with this by assigning offices to everyone, not all employers can, or want to do this.

For those that have an open floor plan, it may be beneficial to create high wall cubicles, which will prevent individuals from checking what’s on their colleagues computer screen, what files are on their desk, or what they’re doing at any given moment.


Employees like to be the boss’s favourite, and this desire may create a competition in the office.

This can be healthy, with your staff working hard to prove themselves, or unhealthy, with sabotage, anger and treachery.

To avoid the negative kind of competition, try to unite your colleagues into a team.

By doing helpful team working exercises, you can teach them that each one is valuable, and contributes to the team in their own unique way.

Remember that there is no surefire way to prevent any conflict in the office.

However, planning ahead and being involved in your staff’s daily activities will provide you with knowledge of what issues can be affecting the workplace.

Thanks again

Mark Williams

Head of Training and Development

MTD Training   

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Updated on: 20 April, 2016

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