You are trying to get an important project completed and a co-worker comes along wanting to chat. We have all experienced this at some time or another. How can you handle it and continue to have good working relationships with your co-workers?
There is always going to be some social interaction and joking with each other - it can help to relieve some of the stress of a busy office. Afterall, we spend the most time with the people we work with and we want to develop relationships with each other so we can work more effectively together. But we also need to get back to work!
A good suggestion from someone I know is if someone is settling in for a long chat, try some body language and stand up. Standing up shows you are needing to go somewhere. That body language may be enough to get the message across.
You can continue to work as they are chatting and they should get the hint.
If all else fails you may just need to tell them you are busy and really have to get back to the task at hand, but you would be happy to talk to them at lunch or a break.
What if you are the chatterer? Try to recognize the signs that your co-worker just does not have time to chat right now. Don’t take it personally if they need to continue working and can’t talk. We are at work to do a job and that is our first priority. Socializing can come at lunch time, breaks or work social get togethers.