The 20 most annoying things about being back in the office

back in the office - mediashotz

As millions have returned to their workplaces, a new nationwide poll has revealed the things which are already driving us crazy about being back in the office.

It’s an interesting dilemma, as I for one enjoy many of the tasks that others seem to dislike. For example, we recently looked into comprehensive fire risk assessment services as our fire assessment is overdue. To me – that’s a match made in heaven. The ability to plan, liaise with a third party and implement a new strategy is what I literally dream of. It’s Office Manager heaven!

Back in the office and stealing ideas

Top of the list was the deeply unfair act of someone taking credit for another’s idea (37%), with the heinous act of nicking a colleague’s lunch from the fridge coming in second place (36%).

Colleague's stealing ideas
Corporate thieves: There’s nothing we hate more than a colleague taking credit for another’s ideas.

People gossiping via messenger while you are all sitting in the same office (30%), and people who sign off work emails with kisses (30%) all featured high in the list of annoyances.

As did those who do not put deodorant on before work (31 %), and people who bring smelly lunches into the office (25%).

Too much sex life detail

The survey found that 24% said it winds them up when colleagues tell everyone in the workplace about their sex life in intimate detail.

The study, which was carried out by insights agency Perspectus Global, also found that a third of women (33%), and a quarter of men agreed it was unacceptable for females to be called terms like ‘chick’, ‘babe’ and ‘hun’ by their male co-workers – a finding that is interesting in light of the recent tribunal during which a judge deemed such name calling as sexist and demeaning to women.

COVID cleanliness

Covid seems to have taken its toll on our expectations of colleague behaviour, with almost a quarter (24%) of the 1,500 Britons polled saying that not sanitising your hands before entering the workplace was a big no no, and more than a fifth (22%) claiming that coming to work with a cough or cold was completely unacceptable.

covid hygiene at work
Dirty office: COVID hygiene is a must and we hated it when colleagues don’t take care with sanitising.

The blurred lines between work and home life seem to have prompted some of the other items of the list, with messaging colleagues late at night or first thing in the morning about work (23%) and using a social app like whatsapp to send work related texts (13%) also featuring.

Meeting windbags

But the classic work faux pas, such as asking a long-winded question at the end of a very long meeting (21%), unnecessarily copying in your boss when emailing a colleague (18%) also made the list.

Said Dave Arnold of Perspectus Global: “With more people returning to their offices, we wanted to take a snapshot of modern workplace etiquette – and it’s interesting to see the mix of traditional and more modern work bugbears that give British workers pause for thought.”

At the top of the list – and quite rightly so – is stealing a colleague’s idea and passing it off as your own, but more modern misbehaviour, like not sanitising your hands when arriving at the workplace, also feature high. Interestingly, unnecessary meetings don’t make it onto the list, despite it being something we all hate. Many find PowerPoint presentations a waste of time, whilst others find that their voice isn’t heard. However, improvements in Presentation Design have helped to make meetings more interactive and engaging, which may explain why meetings no longer make the list.

“We hope this list will help workers keep on the right side of their colleagues over the coming months.”

20 most annoying things about being back at work for Brits

  1. People who take credit for someone else’s idea – 37%
  2. People who take someone else’s food from the fridge – 36%
  3. Colleagues who are “off sick” all the time but are seen out socialising – 35%
  4. People who don’t put deodorant before work – 31%
  5. People who put kisses at the end of work emails – 30%
  6. Colleagues who gossip via text/email while they are sitting in the same room – 30%
  7. Men calling women terms like ‘babe’, ‘hun’ and ‘love’ – 29%
  8. Someone at work telling you all about their dream – 28%
  9. People who moan constantly about the job – 28%
  10. People who make up rude nicknames for others – 27%
  11. When colleagues bring in smelly lunches to the office – 25%
  12. When people don’t sanitise their hands when entering the workplace – 24%
  13. Those who tell everyone in the office about their sex life in great detail – 24%
  14. When your boss texts you late at night or first thing in the morning about work – 23%
  15. When people come to work with a cough/ cold – 22%
  16. People who don’t pull their weight for the office tea round – 21%
  17. Colleagues who eat loudly during meetings – 21%
  18. When people ask a question right at the end of a really long meeting – 21%
  19. Those who unnecessarily copy the boss into every email – 18%
  20. People who announce they are going to the loo – 16%