A quick guide to making your colleagues’ lives hell – and recognizing bad practice!

If you’ve come here hoping for some actual advice, you’re in luck. There are just too many blogs out there that deal with the positive practices and experiences in the workplace. Not nearly enough information is available on the downsides – which is where we come in.

When you’re working in a closely-connected group of people, like a software development team, there are bound to be some issues. It’s not just about the team itself, of course: the organization and culture play a huge role in your everyday life, as well as in the decisions you make.

Now, our company started off as a startup. With seven co-founders, teamwork was a necessary part of life from the very beginning, and it continues to be a core value to this day.

As time went by, the way we do things had to evolve. New practices were introduced, principles were established, and guidelines were formed. We like to think we’re doing pretty well these days – but that doesn’t mean we aren’t vulnerable to future issues.

so annoyed here

Remote or no, frustration and conflict are universally present.

Teamwork isn’t an inborn skill for everybody. Some people struggle with collaboration, others aren’t the best communicators. For those who do know what to do, however, there are ways to deliberately destroy team spirit on a daily basis. Here are some examples:


A toxic work atmosphere is an ideal method of destroying productivity and morale. Whether you bring down the happiness with snide comments or just do your best to negate somebody’s work, your toxicity will definitely lead to long-term and short-term consequences.

2. Never offer positive feedback.

Somebody did a good job? No need to acknowledge it – they’re paid to do a good job. Somebody made a mistake? Make sure to mention it all the time. Make it into a meme. Use it as a weapon against their confidence.

3. ALWAYS bring your complaints to the highest possible authority.

Having a problem with a fellow teammate? Why waste your time trying to talk it out with them when you can just go complain to the PO or CEO! They’ve got the authority to take care of things, after all. It should bother them that you prefer the chair your colleague is using.

4. Delegating is a weapon to be utilised.

Overworked? There are two ways to deal with it: 1) micromanage everything while complaining that nobody is helping or doing things right or 2) delegate every single task that has ever been appointed to you until you’re basically a manager. After all, that’s what teams are for, right?

5. It’s not your fault – any of it.

Something goes wrong? Obviously, nothing to do with you. If mistakes are made, it’s the job of others (Team leaders, QA engineers) to fix them. Your job is to do your best, and that’s what you did. Everything else is outside your control.

Now, these are just some of the ways you can be a bad team member. You can always level up by insisting on eating tuna and garlic every day – heated up in the office microwave, of course. But is this really something that will make you happy?

Defensive behaviour, like refusing to give positive feedback, blaming others and refusing to communicate, is never a good idea if what you’re looking for is happiness.

Sure, you might get that one-time rush when others take the fall, but you’re definitely not building a long-term relationship with your colleagues or your company.

If you’ve recognized some of these behaviours in yourself or think you’ve seen them performed by somebody else, take it seriously! A team is only as strong as the weakest member, and only as successful as the relationships within it.

  • toxic workplace
  • teamwork
  • collaboration
  • work
  • softwaredevelopment
Author Maja Jovicic

Maja Jovicic
PR @ WaySeven Technologies
on September 21, 2021