Categories: FeaturedLeadership

How To Handle The Overly Chatty Coworker?

The act of garnishing work life with some social activities at the office is essential. It promotes both corporate relationships and avenues for empathy, aside from allowing team members to gain more information about their projects. But chatty coworkers are far from understanding their boundaries; when to cease from demanding for further social attention from others or allow for a calm work environment. They are always ready to raise new topics each time the chat finds an ending path or elongate every official chat without recognizing if other colleagues are finding it difficult to cope with all the noise and ready for the conversation or not.

Dealing with a chatty coworker could be as bad as having a backache, but what if you are the chatty coworker that every colleague is having a challenge to deal with? Yes, chatty coworkers are never aware they are allowing social activities to encroach into work time. Sometimes, it’s even difficult to identify the chatty coworker, and these two questions will help you to also identify if there’s such problem at your workplace. Is one person doing all the talking at work? Are your colleagues always using headphones on while working? Anyone could be the source, including your boss.

Facing the problem squarely is the best approach to handle chatty coworkers, but you must be intelligent about it to not hurt anyone

Here are two tips on how to deal with a chatty coworker.

Dealing with a chatty coworker has forced many into frustrating corporate relationships in view of achieving a healthy work environment. This is wrong and indirectly hurting the workforce. However, the situation can be handled directly or indirectly, depending on your workplace layout.

Indirect approach of dealing with a chatty coworker

Take advantage of other seating options if the challenge is fierce due to your seating arrangement, use break rooms and couches to stay away from the noise. If you are dealing with a chatty boss, find out if there is a private area where you can access tranquility to renew your thinking, though this doesn’t arrest the situation completely and may be taken as your approval of the problem to continue.

The direct approach of dealing with a chatty coworker

You can address the challenge directly. If a talkative coworker or chatty boss prevents you from being productive, try to speak up politely that you need to get some work complete at this time. A friendly tone from clear communication reduces the blow and will encourage others to stand with you. Politely notify the coworker(s) that while you enjoy having conversations with them, you would love that to hold during lunch or break times. Identify that you need to complete a set of work within a particular time is a way of tricking them if your politeness is futile. However, you can only use this approach a few times.


Failing to address the situation directly may worsen it and completely ignoring the noise and presenting yourself busy will never be of help; you will definitely be distracted by the noise. Not speaking up and trying not to embarrass others is not the best thing to do; the chatty trend will continue. And fitting in means you will be engaged in plenty conversations all day, hence, changing your personality at the workplace and level of productivity.

Facing the problem squarely is the best approach to handle chatty coworkers, but you must be intelligent about it to not hurt anyone. Also, you may have to consider scheduling sometime to catch up with them when it’s absolutely possible for you.

Priyansha Mistry

Currently editor at The HR Digest Magazine. She helps HR professionals identify issues with their talent management and employment law. | Priyansha tweets at @PriyanshaMistry

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