Office Loud Mouths Annoy Colleagues

September 8, 2005 ( - An office nightmare would be an employee whose phone conversations are loud enough to be heard for blocks and who insists on using a speakerphone so his office neighbors can hear both sides of the conversation.

That was one conclusion of a new online survey of 2,200 employees conducted by job board TrueCareers in July, according to a news release.

Other annoying habits, according to the survey included:

  • cliques among co-workers
  • arriving late to work
  • talking to oneself
  • communicating with co-workers over cubicle walls
  • bad hygiene
  • loud eating. .

Respondents may have been annoyed about a co-workers habits, but more than half have not considered confronting a co-worker about his or her infuriating habits. That may be because the complainers admit they’re likewise guilty of the same behavior. Fifty-four percent of all respondents say that they are guilty of at least one annoying work habit. Eighteen percent say they often talk to themselves, 16% arrive late to work or meetings, 13% call over cubicle walls instead of using the telephone or e-mail, and 7% constantly complain about work.

Meanwhile, nearly 60% of employees report that the annoying work habits of a co-worker have negatively impacted relationships in the workplace and have resulted in at least a somewhat significant loss in productivity. Forty percent say that a co-worker’s habits have become so unbearable that they are currently looking for new employment. Another 17% of employees have sought a transfer as a result of their frustration with co-workers.

“We spend so much time in the office that our co-workers become our extended family. Just like that annoying uncle pinching your cheeks on Thanksgiving, our co-workers have some irritating habits,” said Cecelia Dwyer, president, TrueCareers. “The key is to recognize the habits that bother you and confront the co-worker about your concern before it becomes a problem.”