Workplace habits that drive co-workers bonkers

Repeated tardiness, whining, shirking work and olfactory assaults—pungent foods, acrid fragrances and noxious body odor—top the list of things people hate about their colleagues.

Lateness, whining and eating smelly food are office workers’ most annoying habits.

Office workers find colleagues’ lateness to be the most annoying habit, a new study finds, although only a third are prepared to do anything about it. More than 40 percent of respondents said that annoyance made them consider leaving their jobs—with a striking 5 percent having actually quit.

The top 20 most annoying habits by rank:

1. Being regularly late
2. Whining all the time
3. Eating stinking food
4. Taking lots of cigarette breaks
5. Deliberately taking a long time to do something/constant procrastination
6. Not replacing things that run out (e.g., printer paper, coffee)
7. Talking on the phone too loudly
8. Having bad hygiene (coffee breath, BO, visibly dirty clothes)
9. Gossiping
10. Spraying deodorants, aftershaves and perfumes at desk
11. Coming to work when very ill
12. Texting/using mobile phone all day
13. Having an untidy desk
14. Talking too much about private life
15. Invading personal space
16. Not making a tea round
17. Humming/whistling/singing
18.Constantly tapping/clicking pens/typing too loud
19. Stealing other people’s food/lunch
20. Using jargon

Colleagues who whine all the time were found to be the second-most annoying thing in the nation’s offices, the study by Viking reveals.

Misspent time was a key theme amongst the top five habits on the list of 20, with excessive smoking breaks and deliberate procrastination taking top positions.

Colleagues who eat smelly food in the office were also a major annoyance, suggesting that not everyone is impressed by aromatic comestibles.

Only a third of respondents were prepared to try and solve a given problem, with a further 30 percent saying they avoided approaching the problem in order to avoid conflict.

The majority did not consider leaving their jobs to be an appropriate response however, with 51 percent stating they “didn’t think it was that much of a problem.”

Women are more likely to be riled by an empty toilet paper holder, whereas men ranked office gossip as a top bad habit. When it comes to confrontation, women are more likely to keep quiet to keep the peace.

This article originally appeared on Viking Direct.

This article first ran on Ragan.com in July 2015.

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