The most irritating office habits

Which office habits do employees find most irritating? Interesting reading for anyone with colleagues!

It’s time for the third and final post in our Vanquis Bank ‘Professional Gripes Survey’ series – and this post really explores those daily gripes. Don’t forget to catch up on the first two installments, which include…

  1. How many professionals would accept a promotion without a pay rise? Including which groups are most likely to do this and whether you should ever consider it.
  2. And would you recommend your employer to another job-seeker? Plus what stops people doing this and why it matters.

A bit of background…

As mentioned in the first post, the Vanquis survey is designed to explore ‘what makes UK workers tick and what ticks them off!’

They raise the old adage that many of us spend more time with our colleagues than we do with our families, which means we really get to know their ‘quirks and behaviours’.

As well as wanting to understand what’s most likely to upset colleagues, they were intrigued by which grievances linger longest on the mind.

Office Habits to avoid:

  1. Rotten food left in the fridge/kitchen (85%)
  2. Colleagues leaving a mess in kitchens, bathrooms or other communal spaces (83%)
  3. Discriminatory or rude language, including swearing alongside racism and sexism, etc. (81%)
  4. Passive-aggressive notes left in communal spaces (74%)
  5. Loud music on work computers (74%)
  6. Colleagues changing heating or aircon settings (67%)
  7. People cooking ‘smelly food’ at work (66%)
  8. Colleagues being promoted ‘over you’ (61%)

Interestingly, the order changes when it comes to how long people spend feeling ‘bothered’ by each of these irritations…

  1. Other people being promoted (57.36 hours)
  2. Discriminatory & rude language (36.72 hours)
  3. Passive-aggressive notes (22.8 hours)
  4. Rotten food in fridges or kitchens (18.72 hours)
  5. Messy kitchens, bathrooms or communal spaces (15.84 hours)
  6. Loud music on work computers (14.64 hours)
  7. People changing heating/aircon (13.44 hours)
  8. Cooking smelly food (11.76 hours)

How do you mitigate irritating or offensive office behaviour?

The survey respondents engage in a number of responses; most of which are highly concerning…

  1. Verbal confrontation – directly to your colleague (40%)
  2. Complaining to your boss (32%)
  3. ‘Bad-mouthing’ colleagues and their work (27%)
  4. HR complaints (21%)
  5. ‘Embarrassing them’ in front of colleagues or clients (14%)
  6. Physical acts of confrontation, i.e. violence (12%)
  7. Deleting or adding mistakes to their work in shared documents (11%)
  8. Revealing personal information about them to their family/boss (11%)
  9. Career sabotage attempts (9%)
  10. Harassing them on social media, outside of work (9%)

You may recall that some of the same respondents also take nefarious routes to obtain their promotions at work. This may be a rather unusual pool and does not necessarily reflect the behaviour that’s normal in your office or industry!

Any irritating office habits should, of course, always be handled politely and professionally. Remember, your reputation is at stake.

Are you someone who truly values your reputation and is keen to explore a fresh environment and team? Please visit our jobs page



Would you recommend your employer?

How likely would you be to recommend your employer to another job-seeker?

Join us for the second in our Vanquis Bank ‘Professional Gripes Survey’ posts. You can catch up on the first installment here – exploring how many professionals would accept a promotion that didn’t come with a pay rise.

Today, we take a look at the likelihood of suggesting your employers to other job-seekers. Vanquis cites that the average British person changes companies every five years and they’re eager to know more about why this is. Could it be that professionals are harbouring negative feelings about their workplace or the people working there?

There’s some good news for employers…

  • It turns out that 3/4 of respondents would recommend their workplace to another person.
  • Those in the Beauty and Wellbeing sector appear most satisfied, with 90% of people happy to make a recommendation.
  • Hospitality employees appear the least satisfied, as 35.2% say they would not recommend their company to others.
  • Transport & Distribution and Retail & Customer Services professionals also fall into the least likely groups (with 33.1% and 32.1% unhappy to recommend).

Why wouldn’t you recommend your employer?

Turning to the 1/4 of respondents who would avoid a recommendation, there are a variety of commonly held reasons. In fact, all but one of the reasons are shared by at least 30% of this group. These include:

  1. Feeling undervalued (46%)
  2. Believing you’re underpaid (44%)
  3. Perceived lack of progression (38%)
  4. Disliking your management team (37%)
  5. Feeling over-worked (35%)
  6. Disliking your work environment (30%)
  7. And not liking your colleagues (14%)

Why this matters…

  • For employers: each employee’s experience naturally contributes towards a company’s wider reputation. Negative comments shared with family and friends can soon spread much further afield and impact the chance to recruit quality personnel. Of course, it’s unlikely that every employee who works for a company will have a positive experience as there are so many factors involved. However, you can take control of certain elements, including many of the above.
  • For employees: it’s always helpful to consider these sorts of questions. What’s stopping you from feeling able to recommend your employer…and are they even the right employer for you? As ever, the more you understand what’s not working for you, the easier it is to identify what could.

Want to know what other local opportunities are out there? Visit our jobs page