A study carried out on 2,000 workers at the end of last year has revealed that office gripes are common and these are the habits that annoy us the most.

We sit next to our colleagues for nearly 40 hours a week so it’s not surprising that from time to time, we might find them a bit annoying. Perhaps your desk neighbour doesn’t ever stop talking or maybe there’s someone who always leaves used tea bags by the sink rather than putting them in the bin. 

Whatever it is, a study carried out on 2,000 workers at the end of last year has revealed that office gripes are common and these are the habits that annoy us the most. 

  • Loudness
  • Complaining 
  • Gossiping 
  • Bullying
  • Weird eating habits
  • Email or meeting habits

Additional data from the survey found that estate agents have faced the most complaints about colleagues while those working in communications and journalism are subject to the most gossip. 

So what do you do when your colleagues are getting on your nerves? Surprisingly, a massive 78% of participants said that they’ve confronted co-workers about their annoying behaviours in a bid to get them to stop. Despite this however, just 30% said that doing so actually resolved the matter. 

If the survey is anything to go by, it would also appear that men are more annoying than women. Of those who said they have been confronted about their annoying behaviour in the office, the majority (65%) were male. 

Perhaps the most surprising statistic to come from the survey is that an incredible 100% of participants said that they have been irritated by colleagues at some point. With this being the case, what’s the best way to handle the situation when you find yourself getting annoyed with a co-worker?

Don’t make it personal 

With loudness being our top office gripe, what do you do when you have a colleague that talks all the time, plays their music too loudly or sings, hums or whistles to keep themselves entertained all day long?

In a situation like this, try to avoid making it personal. Instead, ask them if they mind keeping it down a bit because you’re working on an important project or have a deadline at the end of the day that you’re struggling to meet and you’re getting distracted by the noise. 

Use positive bookends 

No matter how much someone is irritating us, confronting them can still be difficult. If you feel that for the sake of your sanity it has to be done however, start the conversation on a kind and friendly note and end it that way too. Any issues you have should be in the middle so that nobody walks away feeling like the negative aspect was the main point of the conversation. 

Think about what you’re going to say beforehand

If someone has been relentlessly tapping their foot on the floor for the last four hours and you’re at breaking point, try to calm down before approaching them. Go and make a coffee or go on your lunch break so you’re not angry when you talk to them and remember to rehearse what you’re going to say. This will help you to stick to the topic and you’re far less likely to say something you might regret later. 

It’s also a good idea to have the conversation in private so the person doesn’t feel like you’re trying to publicly shame them. 

Speak to your manager

If you’re worried about confronting a colleague yourself, share your grievances with your manager and ask if it can be dealt with diplomatically. Perhaps it can be brought up in your next team meeting without naming names or your manager can take your colleague to the side for a private chat. 

What are your top tips for dealing with annoying colleagues? Feel free to share your thoughts with us on our Facebook page.