October 27, 2023 | Allison Robertson

Top 15 Things People Can't Stand About Their Co-workers


The Office Frenemies: Top 15 Things People Can't Stand About Their Co-workers

Woman and office man split image

Ah, the office environment – a kaleidoscope of personalities, backgrounds, and yes, quirks. As much as we adore some of our colleagues, there are those whose habits make us fantasize about remote work. 

Here's an exploration of the top 15 colleague behaviors that are just universally... annoying.

The Chronic Over-sharer

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Ever get caught in the personal saga of a colleague's breakup before the morning coffee kicks in? While bonding over personal tales is one thing, there's a line many don't seem to recognize. 

Unwanted intimate details can make colleagues feel awkward, and over 50% of office workers complain about that TMI (too much information) colleague.

Mr. or Ms. Always-Late

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The occasional delay is understandable, but when it's a daily ritual, punctuality becomes an issue. It's not just about keeping others waiting; chronic tardiness can be perceived as a sign of disregard and unprofessionalism, leading teams to question commitment levels.

The Loud Talker

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Their voice seems to echo in every corner of the office. It's not just about volume; these decibel-defying colleagues often end up revealing confidential or sensitive information unintentionally. 

40% of employees in open offices report that these human megaphones often disrupt their concentration.

The Food Thief

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The delicious meal you've been waiting for all morning? Vanished. Beyond the evident breach of trust, food theft ignites office conflicts and fosters an environment of suspicion. 

Almost 29% of employees admit they've experienced the lunchtime heartbreak.

The Perpetual Complainer

resolving conflict between coworkers with computer and documents working late at nightGround Picture, Shutterstock

From the room temperature to the brand of coffee, nothing is ever right for this colleague. Their constant cloud of negativity can drain enthusiasm, hamper morale, and even influence others to see problems where none exist.

The Micromanager

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Nothing screams "I don't trust you" like a coworker or supervisor constantly breathing down your neck. Such oversight can make employees feel stifled, undermine their confidence, and hinder their growth. 

A whopping 55% of employees have felt restricted due to overzealous oversight.

The Mysterious Hygiene Offender

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Workplace hygiene matters, and it's not just about personal comfort. Poor hygiene can be distracting at best and a genuine health hazard at worst. 

Shockingly, 35% of workers report dealing with colleagues who neglect this basic social contract.

The Drama Enthusiast

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The office isn't a theater, but for some, it's the next best thing. Gossip, drama, backbiting - these actions erode trust, create divisions, and can make the office feel more like a reality TV show than a professional space.

The Meeting Extender

Senior leader wearing white shirt is explaining strategy to coworkers.Andrea Piacquadio, Pexels

Their hand shoots up just as the meeting is about to wrap, leading to another 30 minutes of discussion. While engagement is crucial, unnecessarily prolonged meetings can exhaust participants, eat into productivity time, and dilute the meeting's core purpose.

The Personal Caller

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Separating personal life from work is a challenge for these colleagues. Their loud and frequent personal calls can distract teammates and create an environment where everyone knows just a little too much about each other's private affairs.

The Space Invader

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Personal space is sacred, but these coworkers might have missed the memo. Whether it's leaning over one's shoulder or setting up shop on a colleague's desk, the feeling of being intruded upon is both uncomfortable and unsettling.

The Know-it-All

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They have a solution for everything, even when no one asked. Their constant need to display knowledge, even when incorrect, can deter others from speaking up and stifle the flow of fresh ideas.

The Email Spammer

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In the age of digital communication, cluttered inboxes are real productivity killers. From needless "reply-all" responses to unending email chains, these colleagues make many wish for the old days of pigeon post.

The Procrastinator

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Last-minute rushes, missed deadlines, and endless excuses are their trademarks. Their lack of time management often results in increased pressure on the entire team, affecting the quality and timeliness of projects.

The Credit Stealer

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In a collaborative environment, credit should be given where it's due. However, these colleagues are quick to bask in the glory of successes but vanish at the hint of responsibility. 

This behavior not only dampens morale but also fosters resentment among peers.

Final Thoughts

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The workplace is a symphony of personalities, and not all notes hit the right chord. Recognizing these dynamics can help in fostering a more understanding, patient, and cohesive work environment. 

Because remember, it takes every kind to make the world - or in this case, the office - go round!


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