2 minute read

Advice given on June 1, 2022.

Coworker Competition

Hey Jay,

We have an exercise competition at work based on tracking the amount of time people work out. Our company is global, so the various offices compete with each other. These competitions are generally evaluated on a month-by-month basis where for each month, your office is competing with another one to exercise more. My problem is a pretty straightforward one, my office keeps losing! At first I wasn’t bothered, because I figured it is just a casual office contest, and we’ll win some and lose some over the course of a few months. But this hasn’t happened. Instead, we just keep losing over and over. The competitions have been going on for 6 months and our record is 0-6. Is there a way I can (politely) get my coworkers motivated to compete and to win in this inter-office competition?

Competitive Colleague


Well now, at least you’re willing to admit you are competitive. It’s clear that you must be much more competitive than most folks at your office. I think it’s going to be tough to go around and get your colleagues to exercise more for the purposes of winning these little inter-office contests. Most people will see them as fun competitions, but nothing to really think about or care too deeply about. I think for you, it’d be a better use of your competitive drive to find another environment within which you can go out and win. You should check and see if your city has intramural sports leagues, there you may be able to find a set of teammates that cares much more about winning. On the office side, maybe you can reach out to the organizer of these competitions to see if they can also create an individual leaderboard across all offices. That way you’d be able to compete as hard as you want, without being frustrated with the performance of your office as a whole.



Hey Jay,

I’ve found a gym near my office that I really enjoy working out at. I’ve also learned that it is least crowded mid-day, and I’m lucky enough to have a job where I can duck out for an hour in the middle of the afternoon to get a workout in. Do you think I have to shower at the gym before returning to the office? It can be such a hassle, but I suspect it would be poor form on my part to hang out at my desk for a few hours all sweaty. Let me know what you think, thanks!



You know what the right answer is here. You’ve got to shower before returning to the office. It’s both unprofessional and simply rude to your coworkers and colleagues who have to share the office-space with you. Take the extra 5 or 10 minutes and shower after your workout.