Navigating Workplace Challenges: 10 Tests of Patience and How to Handle Them

By Krystal Brown

Navigating the complexities of professional life often involves facing a range of workplace challenges that can test your patience. Whether it’s dealing with persistent lateness or handling non-constructive criticism, each hurdle requires a thoughtful and strategic approach to uphold a positive work environment. Let’s delve into these trials and explore strategies to navigate them with grace.

Chronic Lateness

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Everyone is late occasionally. Traffic jams and life events can throw us off track but there are many people out there who are constantly late for no good reason. This can often test your patience, especially when it impacts on your workday.

Not only can it disrupt schedules, but it sends the message that they have a disregard for other people’s time. It often means you have to deal with their work on top of your own which makes your life a lot more stressful than it needs to be.

Excessive Gossip

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Gossip can be common in the workplace and at its worst, it can create a toxic atmosphere. While people will always talk about their work, when that conversation becomes negative, it can damage relationships.

Many workers want to stay focused on the task at hand while others will want to moan about their coworkers and the company. It’s best to avoid these people or try to turn the conversation around to something more positive.


Man stressed at work
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Micromanagement is where a manager (or over-enthusiastic coworker) will try to control every single aspect of your work and won’t give you any independence. This can be extremely irritating and has the opposite effect, as it decreases productivity.

Not only is this annoying but it will make you feel undervalued. It’s hard to stay patient with micromanagement and you may need to address your concerns to them directly or go to the person above them. Workplaces always thrive when workers are supported and encouraged.

Not Pulling Their Weight

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In some workplaces, you won’t care if someone isn’t doing their job properly. For example, if they are in a different department, then it’s not your problem. However, for many people, a lazy coworker is going to make their life harder.

This could be in retail when a person is leaving it all to you, a construction worker who isn’t putting in the effort, or an admin colleague not completing a shared task. It’s easy in these situations for your patience to wear thin and call them out on their selfish behavior.

Excessive Complaining

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Many workplaces have their challenges and there is usually plenty to complain about. While a little complaining is to be expected, doing it constantly can drag everyone down and make it hard to get the job done.

Excessive complaining will drain your energy and bring down morale. There comes a point where you need to address the complaint with management or just do the task at hand. There are too many people who only speak about problems without ever offering solutions.

Taking Credit for Others’ Work

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There is perhaps nothing more infuriating in the workplace than some taking credit for the work of others. This is sure to test your patience, and probably even break it. It’s important to communicate your accomplishments to your superiors so your efforts are acknowledged.

A lesser crime is someone trying to take equal credit for joint work. If this keeps happening, then look for ways to split the task or track it so managers can see who is doing the most work. Don’t let others get the praise that you deserve!

Inappropriate Humor

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Funny people can be angels in the workplace. They can make your day go quicker and turn what may be a bad job into something more enjoyable. While that is the ideal scenario, there are unfortunately many others who try to be funny but just make everything awkward.

While a bad joke can be uncomfortable, inappropriate humor can severely test your patience. It’s important to set boundaries and ensure you have a safe working environment. And if that inappropriate humor is racist, sexist, homophobic, etc., then it needs to be called out and reported.

Lack of Communication

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Communication is vital for any business. Whether this is telling people of a complaint, leaving a note on an account, or informing someone that a task needs to be done, communicating will ensure that a business runs smoothly.

Sadly, there are many people who don’t communicate. This can hinder project progress and create misunderstandings. Constantly needing to remind people about the importance of clear communication is sure to test their patience. 

Generating Complaints

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Complaints are an annoyance for many companies. They often must spend a lot of time dealing with people who like to argue over any little thing.

While some complaints can’t be helped, many others can. What will test your patience is when the same person is causing several complaints with their incompetency. This makes everyone else suffer as they aren’t doing a good job.

Non-constructive Criticism

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Our final way to test patience is with non-constructive criticism. This is when someone spreads negativity without any suggestions for improvement. A coworker just saying you did a bad job is never going to be helpful.

Instead, you want criticism that isn’t harsh and offers you solutions to get better. Those who like to criticize will often drag down the morale of a company and turn it into a toxic environment.

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