If you’ve seen the hit U.S. sitcom ‘The Office’, you may have had high hopes for office hijinks and plenty of elaborate parties to go on in your own workplace. However, this is rarely the case.
In fact, bosses like Michael Scott are a huge HR red flag.
That being said, no matter where you work, you’re going to find someone that has an annoying habit or a pet peeve that comes to life every day.
Although you cannot please everyone, you can do your best to avoid office faux pas. To help, we spoke to an expert!
Talking To An Expert
Jeremy Reis from Explore Startups conducted a survey on office workers to find out what their biggest grievances were. The data was collected from visitors to his website.
As his business is designed to help startup companies, Jeremy knew that office annoyances can be a major reason for employees leaving. He explained to us: “Understanding the pain points of office workers is crucial for entrepreneurs and businesses alike.
By identifying and addressing these issues, we can create a more productive and harmonious work environment for everyone.
Entrepreneurs should consider these factors when designing their own workspaces or implementing remote work policies to provide employees with the best possible experience.”
With this information, Jeremy hopes to encourage entrepreneurs into creating welcoming environments.
The Top 10 Office Annoyances
- Gossip And Office Politics
Unfortunately, this is a hard annoyance to avoid. Gossiping is a normal part of human communication and helps create a balance of social correction, trust, and teaching people what to avoid.
However, when office politics get out of control, it can easily lead to in-house fighting and unnecessary negativity.
Jeremy Reis’ survey found that 80% of employees disliked gossiping.
- Stealing Lunch
Stealing lunches is an issue easily avoided. There is no need for people to take what isn’t theirs, and yet there are personality types that assume everything is up for grabs.
If you encounter an employee that steals, confront them and explain that this behavior isn’t acceptable. Call it what it is – theft. And don’t allow these employees to belittle the situation.
Jeremy Reis’ survey found that 78% of employees disliked people who stole lunches.
- Inconsiderate Coworkers
There is nothing illegal about being inconsiderate, however, it can easily cause employees to develop tensions. Not clearing up messes, picking up work that isn’t on the priority list, or taking their time on something which slows down the rest of the team are all signs of a bad team member.
Teach your employees to think of their coworkers to help avoid tension.
Jeremy Reis’ survey found that 76% of employees disliked inconsiderate coworkers.
- Constant Interruptions
Constant interruptions include unnecessary meetings and social chatter during working spaces. Ideally, employees should have one day a week of expected meetings, so they can work uninterrupted for their remaining working hours.
Jeremy Reis’ survey found that 75% of employees disliked constant interruptions.
- Loud And Annoying Ringtones
Ideally, no one should be on their phone during work hours. However, you must ensure that your phone is silent or vibrates. If a ringtone is needed, make sure you answer the phone quickly.
Jeremy Reis’ survey found that 72% of employees dislike loud ringtones.
- Poorly Organized Meetings
Meetings that take hours but come to no conclusions are time wasters. Each meeting should have a purpose, should smoothly reach its targets, and should be clear.
It’s important to spend time organizing your meetings before starting them, so everyone can understand your information.
Jeremy Reis’ survey found that 71% of employees dislike poorly organized meetings.
- Overcrowded And Noisy Office Spaces
Cramped office spaces do not promote happy environments, which, in turn, will slow down your team’s productivity. If you don’t have office space for every employee, suggest remote working to help balance their mental health.
Jeremy Rei’s survey found that 69% of employees dislike overcrowded office spaces.
- Smelly Food In The Office
Fish, curry, or anything that leaves a pungent smell shouldn’t be eaten in the office. Instead, suggest sandwiches, or create a dining space with good ventilation.
Jeremy Reis’ survey found that 68% of employees dislike smelly food in the office.
- Inadequate Temperature Control
Working in an office that is too hot or too cold will slow down productivity. Unfortunately, a stereotypical man would prefer a colder temperature to a stereotypical woman. This is a generic biological understanding of temperature, which means one person’s “perfect” is another person’s “inadequate”.
If you have a large number of one sex or another, match the temperature to their needs.
Jeremy Reis’ survey found that 62% of employees dislike inadequate temperature control.
- Forced Birthday Celebrations
If your employees are outgoing, then celebrating their birthday will feel like a wholesome experience. If they don’t involve themselves in office parties, then it will feel like a form of awkward torture.
Ask your employees if they would like a celebration or not before planning anything.
Jeremy Reis’ survey found that 55% of employees dislike forced birthday celebrations.
Employers should use this information to manage the social element of office workplaces, while employees should keep these in mind to avoid becoming shunned.