We all want to be able to enjoy the work day making jokes, laughing, and messing around during your free time. That’s all great until one of your coworkers takes it to the next level. Now it’s not all fun and games anymore. He or she might not even notice how annoying or how aggressive their actions are while trying to have fun in the office.

So how can we deal with this? Richard Pacheco the staffing consultant with Omni Staffing Solution a staffing firm in Cleveland, Ohio explains; “no one wants to be the person to confront someone the wrong way and create tension in the workplace. You want a peaceful work setting and you might even enjoy the down time fun, until they cross the line”.

You will have few avenues of approach in this situation, depending on the person. If they are more of an inappropriate joking coworker that crosses way too many boundaries with their jokes, you might just need to ignore them to not give them the satisfaction of their joke. Or, if it was directed to some other coworker, stick up for the coworker being made fun of. This is best addressed in a calm manor away from the rest of the crew. Putting an aggressor on the spot in front of their audience isn’t always the best idea.

Now if it’s one of those coworkers who is very hands on, touchy feely, and likes to pat or punch you without noticing how much that contact is unwanted, you might just need to keep some distance during work hours to not let them have the chance. Because this coworker may be unaware they are being too aggressive in office, you’ll need to help guide them in the right direction on what is and is not acceptable during the work day. When you correct them, don’t just put them on blast in front of everyone as this may create more conflict. Be sure to pull them off to the side when no one else is around and explain how their actions are negatively affecting others

Everyone wants to have fun and enjoy their time during breaks slow time at work. Once someone crosses the line the whole office atmosphere could be ruined for the day. It is your job to take action when the time is right to help direct and handle an aggressive or aggravating coworker. Remember they might not even know that they are crossing the line, when it’s time to confront them go in level headed. Don’t make them feel bad or feel out of place. An enjoyable office atmosphere is a key to success.