96% of UK workers say they’ve been annoyed by their colleages

One in three say getting irritated at work reduces their productivity

A new survey of 800 UK-based workers by online print provider instantprint has revealed how much typical workplace annoyances can damage business performance. Well over half of respondents (58%) said that they’re regularly annoyed by colleagues during the workday. Just 4% said they’d never been annoyed by a co-worker’s actions.

These annoyances can have a tangible effect on businesses, with one in three workers saying they have a directly negative impact on their productivity. When asked to rank office habits based on which is most annoying, the following five came out on top:

  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Eating smelly food in the office
  • Taking frequent smoking breaks
  • Constant whistling
  • Being late

Members of senior management were found to be guilty of breaking office etiquette the most. Almost one-third (30%) of respondents said that it is senior management who put their backs up most often.

Over-used phrases also feature in common annoyances around the workplace. The phrases workers said they least like to hear are:

  • “Regards” (as a passive aggressive email sign-off)
  • “It’s on my radar”
  • “Ducks in a row”
  • “Move the goalposts”
  • Hit the ground running”

Some causes of frustration in the workplace have a source unrelated to staff. Survey respondents were asked which workplace facilities issues caused them the most irritation. The five most common choices were:

  • Dirty microwaves
  • Flickering lights
  • Broken printers
  • Unclean toilets
  • Double-booked meeting rooms

James Kinsella, Co-Founder and CEO of instantprint, says about the research: “The insight given by this research allows businesses to address those issues that grind away at people, importantly if your team are happy they keep your customers happy.

“At instantprint, we really push standards; little things like leaving desks clear at night so the cleaners can get round easily or keeping microwaves to the canteen to keep the smell out of the work place, makes a huge difference to the work environment and in turn, keeps our team feeling positive and is great for morale.”

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