The 30 most annoying office habits

Bringing stinky food for lunch, coming to work sick and telling inappropriate stories are just a few ways to alienate your co-workers. Are you guilty of any of these behaviors?


Millions of offices all around the world. Tens of millions of workers in them. They all have one thing in common: the annoying colleague.

You know the one. Or if you don’t, you might be the one who’s always:

1. Talking loudly on the phone or using the speaker phone to the annoyance of everyone else.

2. Sharing too much information about personal things.

3. Asking for help with the same tech problems again and again, instead of taking the time to learn to do it properly.

4. Walking into meetings late, so that things have to be repeated.

5. Leaving messes in the break room or other common areas.

6. Leaving passive-aggressive signs or post-its around the office, instead of speaking to someone to resolve an issue.

7. Using the last of the coffee or tea and not fixing a new pot.

8. Hoarding office supplies.

9. Gossiping about everyone and everything.

10. Listening to loud music, or worse, singing and whistling along.

11. Peeking over the cubicle top to start a conversation.

12. Sending “funny” emails constantly to everyone in the office.

13. Acting as the self-appointed office police (when you are not the manager or boss).

14. Bringing, preparing, and eating incredibly stinky food in the office.

15. Changing the heat or air conditioning with no regard to anyone else’s comfort.

16. Doing personal business at work.

17. Leaving your phone notifications dinging and pinging all day long.

18. Stealing food from the community fridge.

19. Coming to work when you’re obviously contagious.

20. Taking care of personal hygiene at your desk.

21. Or not taking care of personal hygiene at all…

22. Wearing too much cologne or perfume, or spraying it at work.

23. Organizing pointless meetings.

24. Not taking responsibility for mistakes—or worse, blaming others.

25. Asking for donations for gifts, charities, or selling your kids’ school-fundraiser stuff. (Girl Scout cookies usually excepted.)

26. Asking inappropriately personal questions as your version of small talk.

27. Telling inappropriately personal stories about what you did last night or last weekend or in Las Vegas.

28. Bringing treats into the office when you know your co-workers are on a diet.

29. Eating the last of the treats.

30. Agreeing with the boss, no matter what, to look better.

Most of these boil down to being inconsiderate of others. You probably spend more time with your co-workers than anyone else in your life, so it pays to be thoughtful and kind.

What are your biggest workplace pet peeves? (Come on, we all have them.) Let us know in the comments below.

A version of this article originally appeared on LinkedIn.

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