I would like some advice on how to deal with a strange problem in my workplace. I work in a large building and everyone always wants more space. Recently, another employee has decided that he would like our office space. So he comes into our office and has a good look around, without speaking to any of us, and when challenged about his presence, he says “oh, just looking” and then leaves.
Our office has computers in it that can access payroll and rosters and sensitive data, so we are pretty vigilant about who comes in and we lock the door if we go out. How can we politely tell these space grabbers to leave our office alone? 1028-15
I’m confused. Are you shutting the office door while you are working? And how can a fellow employee take possession of your office space without Human Resources or some authoritative entity approving it?
As for “siteseeing”, I have a simple solution to that. I create a response that trains the person to not do the action. When I used to coordinate preparation of meals in my church’s small kitchen, a common problem was men and male teenagers who would hang out doing nothing but getting under foot. Annoyed me tono end. I resolved the problem by by telling them, “This is a work zone and those in here work very hard. If you are in my kitchen, I presume you are here to work so please do XXXXX.” And “X” included chores such as emptying the trash cans and taking the bags to the dumpster, corralling them into washing dishes, busing tables, sweeping the floor. I always had some chore in the back of my mind that I could inflict on them. It eventually worked because they knew if they loitered in the kitchen, I was going to rope them into working.
You should promptly address Mr. Tourist Employee when he enters your office space with, “Can I help you?” If he’s not there on official work business of his own, you canpresue he’s there to help you do your work business and with a happy but firm tone of voice, tell him, “I’m glad you are here to assist our hardworking staff in their duties! There is a case of paper that needs to be put back in storage, please do that for us.” Or send him off delivering interoffice mail, restocking your office bathroom toilet paper supply, lifting heavy things, emptying office trash cans, refilling the copier machine paper supply, getting everyone a cup of coffee/donuts, reading reports, putting a new bottle of water in the dispenser, taking everyone’s lunch orders, and on and on. Get it? You want to create an immediate negative association with visiting your office in his mind.