Office Grumps Top Workplace Survey

My wife loves “The Office”, and from time to time will force me to watch it with her (I know, get a backbone). She held me against my will to watch last week’s “St. Patrick’s Day” episode. In it, Dwight wasn’t happy that Jim was coming back from paternity leave. While Jim was gone, Dwight took over Jim’s desk to have some extra space. To annoy Jim even more, Dwight played “Cat’s in the Cradle” full blast.

Those of us who live much of our lives in our own office can relate to co-workers who, at times, annoy us. I won’t call out anyone I work with now, but I recall a former colleague back in the ’80’s who used to play 5th grade pranks all the time. One time he squirted some “invisible” ink on my white dress shirt and tie. He got the reaction he expected. Real funny. The stain never completely went away.

A recent survey by Opinium Research found the Top 10 office annoyances were:

  1. Grumpy or moody colleagues  (37%)  People who bring their problems from home to work.
  2. Slow computers (36) Maybe if I hit it harder it’ll go faster.
  3. Small talk/gossip in the office (19)  Psst!
  4. The use of office jargon or management-speak (18) “Let’s touch base” tomorrow so we can “think outside the box” and do some “blamestorming”.  Oh, and “bring your A-game”.
  5. People speaking loudly on the phone (18)  If that’s you, I don’t care how important you think you are.
  6. Too much health and safety in the workplace (16) Must be because of all those out-of-date HR required videos films we have to watch.
  7. Poor toilet etiquette (16)    TV talk here, “Let’s wipe to the next one.”
  8. People not turning up for meetings on time or at all (16)  See my response to #5.
  9. People not tidying up after themselves in the kitchen (15)  “Treat the office kitchen just like your kitchen at home.”  Maybe that’s the problem.
  10. Too cold/cold air conditioning (15)  I have my ski jacket and gloves on as I type this.

James Endersby, of Opinium Research, said: “These annoyances will ring a bell with most people who have experienced office life.”

You got that right.  Maybe my wife loves “The Office” because she doesn’t work in one.  I do.  Maybe that’s why I don’t like to watch it.   I bet there’s someone in an office somewhere who’s still getting squirted with some “invisible” ink.

p.s  Feel free to comment on some of your biggest office annoyances.

6 Comments on “Office Grumps Top Workplace Survey

  1. Hi Mark,
    I enjoy your writing voice and the info and yet it was excruciating to read this due to the accuracy of it.

    I threw the TV away 20 years ago so I could arrange my own life. That led to following my dream to becoming an artist. There are times when I still recoil from thoughts of retail and office environments I experienced. At best stultifying and at worst abusive.

    • Thanks Nicole. Good to hear from you. It’s great you could follow your dream. Not too many people can/will do that, for whatever reason. Office life is not for everyone. That’s for sure.

  2. Your mention of poor kitchen etiquette spoke to me! I can’t count the number of times I’ve removed some Marie Calendar shrapnel from the sink drain, or leftover splatter from the microwave! The horror! The humanity!

    • At home, the leftover splatter is OUR leftover splatter. But at work it’s someone else’s leftover splatter. There’s a difference, isn’t there?

  3. Interestingly, wrt 1: What annoys me even more are the overly and artificially cheerful.

    I am not talking about those who are genuinely happy, walk around with a shiny and infectious smile, or are easily amused.

    Instead I have my beef with cheery, cheery, cheery, pep-squady people that are so obviously fake, talk to adults like children, and see anything but enthusiasm as a personal insult. A good fictional example can be found in the summer-camp leaders of the movie “Addams Family Values”.

    (Fortunately, they are rarer than the grumps.)

    • Michael, you’re right on. I think the recession has weeded a few of those people out.

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